Andrew Kim, head of the CIA’s Korea Mission Center who is considered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s alter ego, is visiting Seoul under strict confidentiality, it has been confirmed. According to multiple diplomatic sources on Friday, Kim arrived in South Korea on Wednesday, met with South Korean government officials and members of ruling and opposition parties to discuss issues surrounding North Korea’s denuclearization. Notably, Kim reportedly has met with officials from the North’s Unification Front Department at the truce village of Panmunjom, and is coordinating schedule for high-level talks between Secretary Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol, the chief of the department and vice chairman of North Korea’s ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee.
“We understand that Andrew Kim is visiting South Korea to hold negotiations with officials of the Unification Front Department, in lieu of the North’s diplomacy line ‘New York channel,’ because Secretary Pompeo’s counterpart is Kim Yong Chol, rather than foreign minister Ri Yong Ho,” an informed source in Washington said. Washington and Pyongyang are coordinating to schedule high-level talks around late November, and the venue for the talks will most likely be New York where the North is operating its mission to the United Nations. The two sides are also reportedly discussing schedule for a second U.S.-North Korea summit, which is scheduled early next year.
Pyongyang wishes to convey North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s letter to U.S. President Donald Trump, as Vice Chairman Kim Yong Chol did during his last visit to New York (May 30 – June 2), but it is uncertain whether Kim Yong Chol will have a chance to meet with President Trump. The informed source in Washington also commented on the sudden cancellation of a New York meeting between Secretary Pompeo and Vice Chair Kim Yong Chol just a day before the schedule set on November 8. “The North cancelled the meeting, because even though Vice Chair requested a meeting, (Washington replied) it would be difficult because they had conflicting schedules due to President Trump’s tour to Europe, and because it did not want to be cheated by Pyongyang’s plot to display a show of peace through North Korean leader Kim’s personal letter,” the source said.
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