The denial of a visa for a top North Korean official to come to New York City in March has put an end to a scheduled meeting with U.S. officials, according to sources from the Wall Street Journal.
“The talks, between senior North Korean foreign ministry envoy Choe Son-hui and former U.S. officials, were scheduled to take place on March 1 and 2 in New York but were called off after Choe was denied a visa, the Journal said,” reported Reuters.
It’s been several years since the U.S. government actually engaged in official talks with North Korea, but unofficial contact with Washington has been taking place through “Track 2” dialogues, which quietly discussed a peace treaty and the communist regime’s denuclearization. The last time the two countries made official contact was after the death of leader Kim Jong-il in 2011.
A source from the State Department said no “Track 2” discussions had been scheduled during the canceled meetings on Mar. 1 and 2.
The report speculated that the reason the U.S. State Department refused to issue Son-hui a visa may have something to do with the country’s having test-fired a ballistic missile on Feb. 12, followed by leader Kim Jong-un’s estranged half-brother being murdered the next day in Malaysia. South Korean and U.S. officials are calling the death of Kim Jong-nam an assassination.
On Thursday, Trump told Reuters that he was concerned about North Korea’s conducting ballistic missile tests, calling it “a very dangerous situation.” The report further stated that, although Trump did not rule out the possibility of meeting Jong-un at some point in the future, under present circumstances, he did suggest that “it might be too late.”
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