Senior North Korean official on his way to Washington

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A top North Korean official is on his way to Washington, after a stopover in Beijing, where he will meet with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo before a possible summit between the United States and North Korea.

Kim Yong Chol is the right hand of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the privileged interlocutor of Mr Pompeo in the ongoing negotiations on denuclearization.

According to South Korean Yonhap, the North Korean dignitary, accompanied by two North Korean officials, he left Beijing aboard a United Airlines flight due Thursday night in Washington.

He is expected to meet with Pompeo on Friday before a courtesy call on Trump, the agency said he is likely to have a letter from Mr Kim to the US president.

This trip comes as it seems to be preparing, probably in Thailand or Vietnam, a second summit between MM. Trump and Kim, despite the lack of progress in denuclearization negotiations.

Kim visited Beijing last week to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping.

At their first meeting, in June in Singapore, which intervened after six months of relaxation between North and South, MM. Kim and Trump had signed a very vague statement in favor of “the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula”.

But no progress has since been made, as the two sides do not even agree on the exact meaning of this commitment.

Pyongyang calls for a reduction in sanctions adopted by the international community in response to its banned nuclear and ballistic programs. But the United States believes that these sanctions must be maintained until North Korea renounces its nuclear weapons.

Pyongyang accuses the United States of demanding unilateral disarmament without making concessions.

Another North Korean official, Choe Son Hui, also traveled this week through Beijing, on her way to Sweden where she could meet Stephen Biegun, US Special Representative for North Korea.

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Bill Carr is a Senior Editor at Plains Gazette, based in Austin. Previously he has worked for FOX Sports and MSNBC's "Morning Joe." he is a graduate of the Annenberg School at the University of Southern California. You can reach Bill via email or by phone