A senior official from the government of North Korea has arrived in New York. This state visit marks the highest level visit from Pyongyang to the United States in 18 years. The visit comes just weeks before the high-profile summit in Singapore where President Donald Trump is expected to meet the leader of the Democratic Republic of North Korea. The two leaders are expected to deliberate on how to achieve a fully denuclearized Korean peninsula. General Kim Yong-Chol landed in the US the mid-afternoon of Wednesday on board an Air China flight from the Chinese capital of Beijing. General Chol is a former head of the North Korean military intelligence. Chol is also one of the closest allies to the supreme leader of North Korea, Kim Jong Un.
The US and international press were on the ground to record one of the most significant achievements in the US-North Korea diplomacy. Chol, together with his delegation from Pyongyang, touched down at the JFK International Airport. It was expected that General Kim Yong-Chol would have dinner with the US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo. The State Department chief has also established contacts before with North Korea and has made two trips to the repressive regime of Kim Jong Un. Pompeo had travelled to Washington to meet with General Chol and have discussions on the preparations of the nuclear summit that has been scheduled for June 12.
On Thursday, Chol and Pompeo are scheduled to have full-day meetings at the White House. The conference is set to deliberate on whether the June 12 meeting that has been cancelled by President Trump can be reinstated. Officials who work for the White House have said that it is not yet clear whether President Donald Trump will meet General Chol. As Pompeo and Kim Yong-Chol are meeting in the US, other American officials are meeting in Singapore with representatives from the North Korean government. Other officials from these two nations are also holding meetings in the heavily fortified demilitarized zone in the 38th Parallel. The United States and North Korea have had tensions since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
The war ended in an armistice and divided the Korean Peninsula into two along the 38th parallel. The Korean War marked the first major conflict of the nuclear age after the end of the Second World War. It was also a conflict where the United States did not defeat the enemy and hence never got the chance to dictate the terms of surrender.