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Japanese diplomat warns Asia is ‘ticking time bomb’ with Donald Trump

31 May 2018

The highest-ranking North Korean emissary to meet with a United States official in almost two decades was heading to New York City on Wednesday for a confab with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as a landmark summit between President Trump and Kim Jong Un hangs in the balance.

Top North Korean official Kim Yong Chol was en route to NY on Wednesday to meet Secretary of State Mike Pompeo for high-level talks.

Jo Myong-rok, a vice marshal of the People's Army and a special envoy of late North Korean leader Kim Jong-il, paid a rare visit to the United States to meet President Bill Clinton at the White House in October 2000 to help pave the way for a summit between the two leaders.

Pompeo was meeting with Kim Yong Chol, one of the North Korean leader's closest aides, at the three-bedroom apartment residence of the US deputy ambassador to the United Nations in NY.

Kim, the most senior North Korean official to visit the U.S. in 18 years, was seen exiting the Corinthian building in Manhattan at around 8.30 p.m., following a dinner with Pompeo, America's chief diplomat.

The comments came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo opened a second day of talks with Gen. Kim Yong Chol, who is often described as the right-hand man to Kim Jong Un.

Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un are scheduled to meet in Singapore on June 12.

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Any diplomatic agreement in which North Korea agreed to give up its nuclear weapons could take as long as 10 years to implement, according to a new analysis from former U.S. officials.

It will be the third meeting between Pompeo, who headed the Central Intelligence Agency before becoming secretary of state, and Kim Yong Chol since April.

But Kim Jong Un, in a meeting with Russia's foreign minister on Thursday, complained about "U.S. hegemonism", a comment that may complicate the discussions in NY.

Nonetheless, in a surprise meeting earlier this week, Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in affirmed their shared goal of achieving complete dismantlement of the North's nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and ballistic missile programs, according to a statement.

Kim Yong-chol, who is suspected of being behind deadly attacks on a South Korean warship and border island in 2010, is subject to sanctions that prevent him entering South Korea or the United States. Revere said North Korea wants to weaken the U.S.

But within 24 hours he reversed course, saying it could still go ahead after productive talks were held with North Korean officials.

"The readout from these meetings has been positive", Sanders said.

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He added: "One major difference is that the current process is a top-down process where Trump himself personally makes the decision "we will do the summit", "we will not do the summit"; and that kind of process may deliver extremely significant outcomes, but at the same time I think that there is a high risk that it would also lead to disastrous outcomes".

He is the most senior North Korean to visit the United States in almost 20 years.

Lavrov began his visit to North Korea by meeting with Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho. Talks could potentially resume Wednesday at the demilitarized zone that divides the two Koreas, a person familiar with North Korea-US relations told CNN.

Kim, a four-star general and former head of North Korea's formidable espionage and special operations arm, the Reconnaissance General Bureau, has served all three of North Korea's Kims.

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on Thursday, the Russian foreign ministry said, and invited him to visit Russia.

Mr Trump sent this letter to Kim Jong Un last week.

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Japanese diplomat warns Asia is ‘ticking time bomb’ with Donald Trump