Yesterday, the most senior North Korean representative to visit the U.S. in 18 years arrived in Washington. Kim Yong Chol is a “trusted adviser" to Kim Jong Un, which raises the question – how bad do you have to be to become one of Kim Jong Un's trusted advisers?
Chol is the former chief of the North Korean military intelligence agency and he's in Washington to continue discussing a potential meeting between President Trump and Kim Jong Un. Although, we can't rule out the possibility that he's really here to shop at Costco for Kim Jong Un. You know, pallets of Diet Coke are hard to come by in Kim's communist paradise.
The last time there was such high-level contact between the U.S. and North Korea in Washington was when Jo Myong Rok met with President Clinton in 2000. That meeting was so productive that here we are 18 years later starting over from scratch.
South Korea considers Chol one of the most powerful people in North Korea. He is director of the United Front Department, which oversees relations with South Korea. He is vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, and a four-star general. He also leaves the mints on Kim Jong Un's pillow and reads him bedtime stories (Goodnight, President Moon is said to be a favorite).
Chol was North Korea's official envoy to the Winter Olympics in South Korea this year, along with Kim Jong Un's sister. No word yet on whether those two are an item, but TMZ will be all over this one (TMZ at the DMZ!).
Because of Chol's aggressive past, South Korea has been shocked by his sudden willingness to talk peace.
The State Department had to grant Chol special permission to visit Washington this week because he had been blacklisted for his involvement in the 2014 cyber-attack on Sony Pictures. Because of Chol's aggressive past, South Korea has been shocked by his sudden willingness to talk peace. Anyone who's ever seen a movie knows this can only mean one thing: “It's a trap!"
It hasn't always been smooth sailing for Chol. Just two years ago he was demoted to a three-star general after dozing off during a meeting. Still, that was a lot better treatment than the last guy got who chose to catch some Z's in a meeting with Kim. He was executed by anti-aircraft gunfire. That's just how the cookie crumbles in Kim Jong Un's world… well, if they had cookies there.