North Korean official Kim Yo Jong is not visiting the United States, South Korean officials say, according to local press reports. File Pool Photo by Jorge Silba/EPA-EFE
Oct. 7 (UPI) -- Reports of Kim Yo Jong's plans to travel to the United States contain baseless claims about South Korean involvement, Seoul officials say, according to South Korean press reports.
South Korean diplomatic sources who spoke to reporters on Wednesday said a recent report from Japan's Yomiuri Shimbun about South Korea's brokering of a Kim trip to Washington have no grounding in reality, Segye Ilbo and JoongAng Ilbo reported.
On Wednesday, the Yomiuri reported South Koreans were trying to arrange high-level talks between the Kim Jong Un regime and the Trump administration, quoting unidentified U.S., Japanese and South Korean negotiators.
According to the paper, Seoul was pushing for a meeting ahead of the November U.S. presidential election. South Korea was in favor of a Kim Yo Jong visit to the United States because the North Korean leader could have reservations following the collapse of the second U.S.-North Korea summit in Vietnam, the report said.
Kim Yo Jong's statement in July that she watches DVDs of U.S. Fourth of July celebrations was also a signal of her intention to visit and meet with the Trump administration, according to the report.
Some of the coordination on the potential North Korean visit was hampered by the White House coronavirus outbreak that began last week, the Yomiuri reported. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was planning to travel to Seoul this week but the trip was canceled by the State Department.
In September, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said in his speech to the United Nations General Assembly he seeks an end-of-war declaration with North Korea. Trump has previously shown interest in signing a peace agreement with Pyongyang.
Kim Yo Jong's profile has grown in North Korea in 2020 following the demolition of the inter-Korean liaison office in Kaesong. South Korean authorities have suggested the North Korean leader's younger sister could be the de facto No. 2 in Pyongyang.