Kim Yong Chol is the regime's former spy chief and reportedly behind some of its most malicious behavior, including assassination attempts in South Korea, the sinking of a South Korean navy ship and the Sony hack. The President later said he was reconsidering his position and US, North Korean and South Korean officials have gone ahead with summit preparations. The contents of the letter were not immediately known. He headed to Washington Friday morning after meeting with Pompeo Thursday in NY.
Trump has said he wants North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons before sanctions are lifted.
North Korean envoy Kim Yong Chol would be visiting the White House today to deliver a letter from his leader Kin Jong-un to President Donald Trump, a presidential spokesperson said yesterday. The two sides do not expect to sign any agreement on June 12, he said.
"I think we would be making a big mistake if we didn't have it", Trump told reporters outside the White House after the meeting.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korea's former military intelligence chief have opened talks in NY to try to salvage an on-again, off-again summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
"I never said it goes in one meeting", Mr. Trump said.
The president said the USA government would not put in place any new sanctions while talks were taking place.
"Remember what I say.we will see what we will see".
The letter was "carefully examined" by the Secret Service for anything potentially risky before the North Korean official was able to deliver it, according to a White House official.
Washington has said that North Korea's denuclearisation should be a complete and nearly immediate process, while Pyongyang has appeared to put safeguards for the regime's survival as a pre-condition to a process of gradual dismantling, accompanied by a measured lifting of the sanctions. Chol is also one of the closest allies to the supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un.
The on-again, off-again summit scheduling had all the earmarks of a television cliffhanger from a President who made a name for himself hosting a reality show on NBC for 14 years, only this time with deadly serious consequences.