The South Korean presidential delegation that met with Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang on Monday is arriving in Washington on Thursday and is expected to deliver top-secret communication from Kim to U.S. President Donald Trump.
Chung Eui-yong, President Moon Jae-in’s national security chief, said the main aim of the U.S. visit is to build trust with the United States regarding potential dialogue, South Korean television network SBS reported Thursday.
“We have not arrived at a point when we can discuss the details,” Chung told reporters as he prepared to board his flight at Incheon International Airport. “The most urgent matter is making conditions possible for the United States and North Korea to hold dialogue.”
Chung did not reveal the details of Kim’s message on Thursday but an issue of critical concern for the United States is Pyongyang’s long-range missiles program.
The alarming level of missile development and claims North Korean rockets could hit parts of the continental United States has drawn strong responses from the Trump administration.
Denuclearization has often been a condition for talks as well, and the South Korean delegation has said Kim suggested the option was under consideration.
Kim, a reclusive leader who has never left his country for official visits, revealed much about his personality to the South Korean delegation this week, according to the presidential Blue House.
Kim joked he “knows how the world sees him” and said, “he understands the challenges” faced by the South Korean officials.
South Korean television network JTBC reported the delegation would meet with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence but a meeting with Trump has not been finalized.
U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster will be briefed on the meeting and on the confidential message that at present is only known among the delegates and Moon.
The initial meeting this week in Washington may be too early to discuss specific matters, including the three U.S. detainees in North Korea.
Kim Dong Chul, Kim Sang-duk and Kim Hak-song are U.S. citizens who were working in the country or arrested on charges of spying in 2016 and 2017.