N.Korean official arrives in Beijing en route to US

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Seoul/Beijing, May 29 (IANS) A senior North Korean official arrived in Beijing on Tuesday en route to the US to hold preparatory talks over a possible summit between the leaders of the two countries, media reported.

After arriving in Beijing earlier in the morning, Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of the Central Committee of North Korea’s Workers’ Party, reserved a flight to New York, reports Yonhap news agency.

The trip comes as Washington and Pyongyang are holding working-level talks on the summit agenda and issues related to security and protocol.

It was widely expected that Kim would travel to the US to reciprocate recent visits by the US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

The two may meet to put final touches on the preparations for the summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

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The summit is expected to take place in Singapore on June 12.

On May 24, Trump had called off the summit citing “open hostility” from the North.

But following Pyongyang’s conciliatory gesture and Seoul’s mediation, Trump suggested that the summit could go ahead as planned.

A major sticking point at the summit is expected to be how to denuclearise the North.

–IANS

and/ksk

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