Trump sent a letter last week to Kim Jong Un saying the summit scheduled for June 12 would not happen, blaming what he said was "tremendous anger and open hostility" shown in a statement by the North Korean leader. "Solid response to my letter, thank you!" he tweeted.
Kim Yong Chol is officially vice chairman of the central committee of North Korea's all-powerful Workers' Party. Kim is blacklisted by both the US and South Korea.
The North had tested missiles believed to be capable of reaching the United States but Trump has vowed not to let Pyongyang develop one that could deliver a nuclear warhead.
It's not really North Korean leader Kim Jong-un walking the streets of Singapore awaiting talks with President Trump in anticipation of their on-again-off-again-on-again summit on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, but he sure is a convincing look-alike. The White House was preparing to announce a ramped-up sanctions regime as soon as today, but decided yesterday to indefinitely delay the measures while talks are ongoing, according to a USA official the newspaper didn't name.
Now his travel restrictions seem to have been further relaxed amid efforts to organise the Kim-Trump Summit in Singapore.
Separately, an advance team headed by White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joe Hagin is in Singapore making logistical plans for the summit, should it go ahead.
North Korea has rejected US demands for it to unilaterally abandon its nuclear program.
Kim Chang-son, the director of the North's State Affairs Commission Secretariat, who serves as leader Kim's chief of staff, was reported to be part of a North Korean delegation in Beijing on Monday, apparently en route to Singapore for talks with the United States.
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The targets were meant to advance the "maximum pressure" campaign on North Korea's economy, and there are still more ways to cut off overseas cash to the rogue regime.
"The Trump administration fears that it might repeat the mistake of past negotiations, which only dragged on and ended up in failure, unless North Korea's nuclear weapons are eliminated promptly", a government source here said.
Ahead of Kim's visit to the U.S., working-level talks took place at the truce village of Panmunjeom between delegations led by the North's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui and U.S. Ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, who was a former ambassador to South Korea and the top envoy for the six-party talks for North Korea's denuclearization.
He would be the most high profile North Korean official to visit the United States since 2000.
Choe's participation in the discussions at Panmunjom with USA officials indicates discussions have entered the diplomatic level to officially iron out various details of negotiation.
The US, in contrast, has reportedly chose to hold off new sanctions against the North indefinitely. Kim has overseen unprecedented nuclear and conventional weapons achievements for North Korea, something that has earned him heavy worldwide sanctions that could potentially disrupt the young ruler's economic plans.
"The most meaningful thing in the latest South-North Korea summit was the fact that we skipped complicated procedures and protocols and met casually as if holding an everyday meeting", Moon had said then. "They very much want to do it".