President Donald Trump confirmed Tuesday that a top North Korean official is headed to New York for talks on an upcoming summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as diplomatic efforts also accelerated in Asia, The Associated Press reports. Trump said in a tweet that Kim Yong Chol — a former military intelligence chief and now a vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party’s central committee — was traveling to New York as part of ongoing meetings between the two countries to arrange the on-again, off-again summit on the future of North Korea’s nuclear weapons.
U.S. Congressman Brian Mast (FL-18) today released the following statement after President Donald Trump announced the release of three prisoners held in North Korea:
“Today’s announcement that President Trump and Secretary Pompeo have secured the release of three North Korean prisoners is incredible news. It is a time of celebration for our nation, and most importantly, for those men and their families.
“North Koreans have a long history of promises made and then broken. In the past, they’ve used the guise of denuclearization talks to buy time as they continue to build up their nuclear weapons, so we must be determined to break this cycle and not to repeat history. That’s why, during my short time in Congress, we’ve prioritized ratcheting up sanctions on North Korea. It is clear that this pressure is driving North Korea back to the negotiating table, and now we must continue to exert pressure so we do not make the same mistakes that past Administrations have made with North Korea and the same mistakes that President Obama made with Iran.”
Following is a statement from U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL) on the situation in North Korea:
“North Korea poses a serious threat to the U.S. and all options should be on the table to protect the American people. We either do nothing, go to war or negotiate a stand down, and so far we’ve seen no sign that they’re willing to negotiate.”