North Korea’s lead negotiator in nuclear diplomacy with the US is expected to hold talks with the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and could also meet President Donald Trump on Friday during a visit aimed at clearing the way for a second US-North Korea summit. Kim Yong-chol arrived in Washington on Thursday evening. It is his first visit since last June when he arrived before a landmark meeting between Trump and the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, in Singapore. Efforts made since then to get Pyongyang to denuclearise appear to have stalled.
Chinese President Xi Jinping said he hopes North Korea and the United States can meet each other half way as they plan a second summit between leaders Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump, China’s official Xinhua news agency said on Thursday. The remark by Xi, during a meeting with Kim this week in Beijing, hinted at the depth of the differences that remain between Pyongyang and Washington after Trump and Kim pledged to work towards denuclearisation at their landmark summit in Singapore in June.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is visiting China at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping, only days after warning he may take an alternative path if the United States does not ease sanctions and pressure on his country. The visit, confirmed by North Korean and Chinese state media, will likely lead to Kim’s fourth summit with Xi in the past year and comes amid plans for a second summit with U.S. President Donald Trump aimed at denuclearizing the Korean peninsula.
South Korea’s spy agency has told officials that North Korea’s ambassador to Italy has disappeared. The announcement follows unconfirmed reports that Pyongyang’s top diplomat in Italy had sought asylum from an unidentified Western country. The last senior diplomat to defect was the deputy ambassador in London. As one of the highest-ranking officials to ever defect from the North, his move was seen as a blow to Kim Jong-un’s regime.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said on Tuesday he is ready to meet U.S. President Donald Trump again anytime to achieve their common goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, but warned he may have to take an alternative path if U.S. sanctions and pressure against the country continued. “I am always ready to sit together with the U.S. president anytime in the future, and will work hard to produce results welcomed by the international community without fail,” Kim said.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent a “conciliatory message” to U.S. President Donald Trump amid stalled nuclear negotiations, South Korea’s Chosun Ilbo newspaper reported on Monday. On Sunday, the office of South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in said Kim had sent a letter to his counterpart in Seoul saying he wants to hold more inter-Korean summits next year to achieve denuclearization of the peninsula. At a summit with Trump in Singapore in June, Kim vowed to work towards denuclearization.
Almost 1,000 North Korean defectors have had their personal data leaked after a computer at a South Korean resettlement center was hacked, the unification ministry said. The ministry said this is thought to be the first large-scale information leak involving North Korean defectors. The North Gyeongsang resettlement center is among 25 institutes the ministry runs to help an estimated 32,000 defectors adjust to life in South Korea.
Commercial satellite images were released on Monday that show more than a dozen unidentified North Korean missile operating sites. These images confirm that despite recent talks with the US, Pyongyang has continued cultivating its ballistic missile program. Officials believe the bases identified may house shorter-range missiles and missiles which can reach the US.
North Korea is getting angrier at the US amid deadlocked talks between the two countries. US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley said North Korea postponed US talks on Thursday because ‘they weren’t ready.’ Haley said it is North Korea’s turn to act. The US is pushing for progress on denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wants Pope Francis to visit his country and believes he will be received ‘enthusiastically.’ Kim reportedly expressed his desire during a summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. A request for Catholic priests to be accepted in North Korea was denied two decades ago. North Korea is officially atheist.