Secretary of State Pompeo to meet with senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol in New York this week, the White House said Tuesday.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said that Pyongyang’s vice chairman, is traveling to New York and will meet with Pompeo later this week.
Trump confirmed Kim Yong Chol’s visit in a tweet earlier Tuesday.
“We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea,” Trump wrote. “Meetings are currently taking place concerning Summit, and more. Kim Yong Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to New York. “
Pompeo has taken the lead on efforts regarding North Korea in recent months and twice visited the nation and has met with Kim Jong Un.
Details of the top diplomat’s meeting with Kim Yong Chol were not immediately clear.
Trump, meanwhile, “continues to actively prepare” for an “expected summit” with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore, Sanders said.
Plans for a sit-down between the President and Kim Jong Un scheduled for June 12 were scrapped by Trump last week, but talks have continued.
The on-again-off-again talks, centered around denuclearization on the Korean peninsula, have seen a flurry of activity in recent days since Trump sent a letter to Kim Jong Un calling off their high stakes diplomatic date.
White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said Tuesday that the President had “sent over two delegations — one for logistics and one for more diplomatic purposes that are on the ground” in Singapore.
“But, as the President has said,” she added, “if it doesn’t happen June 12 it could happen thereafter.”
Trump cited hostile comments from North Korea as the reason he withdrew from the potentially historic summit.
Since then, he has voiced optimism that the face-to-face with Kim could still take place.
Kim Jong Un has expressed a willingness to cooperate to end confrontation between the two Koreans and work toward peace for the sake of a successful summit with Trump, South Korean officials have said.
But the North Korean leader also said he was unsure whether he could trust the United States to end hostile policies against his country and provide security assurances if the country does abandon its nuclear weapons, according to South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Sanders also said Trump will meet with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe at the White House on June 7 and the two will discuss the potential meeting and a U.S. delegation is meeting with the North Korean delegation at the DMZ.
Deputy White House chief of staff Joe Hagin is also traveling in Singapore with a team to plan for logistics.
National security adviser John Bolton has been on the phone with his South Korean and Japanese counterparts ‘virtually every day,” Sanders said.