North Korean official meets Trump at the White House

Kim Yong Chol, close aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, meets Trump amid preparations for June 12 summit.

Ben Ariel, Canada ,

North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly
North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol with White House Chief of Staff John Kelly

A close confidant of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with President Trump at the White House on Friday, the latest sign the two nations’ historic nuclear summit is getting back on track, The Hill reports.

The official, Kim Yong Chol, is the highest-ranking North Korean representative to visit the White House in 18 years. He has been deeply involved in nuclear talks for years.

The former spy chief was greeted on the South Lawn by Trump chief of staff John Kelly, who walked him into the Diplomatic Reception Room and along the Colonnade into the Oval Office — a path usually taken by foreign leaders visiting the president.

The North Korean envoy is expected to hand-deliver a letter from Kim to Trump, which will reportedly convey the leader’s desire to meet with the president.

Earlier this week, Kim had dinner in New York with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in order to set the conditions for the talks, which were scheduled to take place on June 12 in Singapore.

After the meeting, Pompeo said the two sides had made “real progress” in resolving their nuclear differences but declined to say if there was a breakthrough.

Trump recently cancelled the June 12 summit, but later said the summit could go ahead as planned following a more appeasing statement from Pyongyang and productive talks with North Korean officials.

(Arutz Sheva’s North American desk is keeping you updated until the start of Shabbat in New York. The time posted automatically on all Arutz Sheva articles, however, is Israeli time.)