Pompeo has dinner with North Korean official

Close aide to Kim Jong Un arrives in Washington for highest-level official North Korean visit to the U.S. in 18 years.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Mike Pompeo
Mike Pompeo

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday night had dinner in New York with a senior North Korean official, marking the highest-level official North Korean visit to the United States in 18 years.

The Associated Press reported that Kim Yong Chol, the former military intelligence chief and one of the closest aides of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, landed midafternoon on an Air China flight from Beijing.

During his unusual visit, Kim Yong Chol had dinner for about an hour-and-a-half with Pompeo, who traveled from Washington to see him, according to the report. The two planned a “day full of meetings” Thursday, the White House said.

Before the meeting, Pompeo tweeted that he was looking forward to meeting the North Korean official, adding, “We are committed to the complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

The meeting comes amid preparations for a summit between President Donald Trump and Kim, which appears to be back on schedule for June 12 in Singapore just days after Trump announced he was canceling it.

The American president said on Friday the summit could go ahead as planned following a more appeasing statement from Pyongyang and productive talks with North Korean officials.

As Kim and Pompeo were meeting in New York, other U.S. teams were meeting with North Korean officials in Singapore and in the heavily fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone, noted AP.

“If it happens, we’ll certainly be ready,” White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said of the Singapore summit. Regarding the date for the meeting, she added, “We’re going to continue to shoot for June 12th.”