During the last few weeks, we went from war to becoming friends in America and North Korea relations. It would be great if it could stay that way, but the things are going back and forth with two leaders proving not to be quite adequate to deal with the situation.
First, we had a meeting scheduled for June 12 between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, then, both sides threatened to cancel the summit, and now we have a high official from North Korea coming to the US to talk about the meeting. General Kim Yong-chol is considered to be the right-hand man of the North Korean leader, and this will be the highest official that visited America from 2000.
According to Yonhap, South Korean news agency, Kim Yong-chol is scheduled to travel on Wednesday to the US. This is pretty much preparation for the historic summit between two leaders as both sides are working for this meeting to happen. Reports say that North’s general will first talk with Chinese officials in Beijing before going to New York.
With General Kim participating in the planning of the summit, it would be another proof that Pyongyang wants this to happen. A former spy chief was one of the negotiators in talks between two Koreas and was accused of ordering the attack on South Korea’s warship in which 46 seamen were killed. Hacking of Sony Pictures in 2014 is another thing that lies on his resume. All these caused the US to set personal sanctions during 2010 and 2015.
Reports from North Korea said that he has been punished in 2016 for an “overbearing attitude,” but even after that, he continued to be quite active and regular on both party and army meetings. General Kim was also a part of the delegation from North that went to South for a closing ceremony of the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.
It is also important to note that Kim Yong-chol was present at both meetings that Kim Jong-un had with China and South Korea representatives. He has also talked with the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in the capital of North Korea. Among other activities that have been scheduled to happen before the official summit between the two sides in Singapore, is the meeting of “pre-advance” team from Washington and the representatives from Pyongyang, also to be held in Singapore.