"Solid response to my letter, thank you!"
Yonhap said Kim Yong-chol's name was on the passenger list for a flight on Wednesday from Beijing to NY.
Perhaps more importantly in regards to any US visit, he has also served as "the key interlocutor for Pompeo" in the top American diplomat's capacities as both Central Intelligence Agency chief and secretary of state.
Kim joined Kim Jong Un in both of his two meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April and May, and hosted US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo when his visited Pyongyang most recently early this month.
The demand was made by a USA team to its North Korean counterpart at talks held at Tongilgak on the northern side in the truce village of Panmunjom on Sunday to discuss the agenda for a U.S. He was the US ambassador to South Korea from 2011 to 2014.
From 2009 to 2016 he was also director of North Korea's General Reconnaissance Bureau, the unit tasked with cyber warfare and intelligence gathering.
The trip is part of a flurry of diplomacy before the on-again, off-again summit originally scheduled for June 12 in Singapore. His visit to the USA comes at a time when Washington and Pyongyang are holding talks in Singapore about the agenda of the summit as well as clarifying security and protocol issues.
Ministry spokesman Noh Kyu-duk also did not say whether Seoul knew of any USA plans regarding Kim Yong Chol's possible visit, such as whether he and Pompeo have plans to meet.
Chinese Foreign Ministry spokeswoman Hua Chunying told reporters in Beijing that she has no information on Kim Yong-chol's visit.
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Trump confirmed that he was on his way to NY. The South Korean presidential office said later in a text message that Seoul is "just considering the possibility" of such a meeting and "at a working level".
In this image made from video, Kim Yong Chol, in white, is seen at Beijing airport.
On Sunday, the US State Department said US and North Korean officials had met at Panmunjom.
All these movements stress that the summit, which Trump had initially canceled citing "hostility" and then suggested would go ahead - after Pyongyang's appeasing gesture and South Korea's involvement - is moving forward and is expected to take place in Singapore on June 12.
"Since the president's May 24 letter to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the North Koreans have been engaging", the White House said Tuesday.
U.S. negotiators, headed by Washington's current ambassador to the Philippines Sung Kim, met with North Korean counterparts in the truce village of Panmunjom that divides the two Koreas on Sunday. Pompeo held talks in the North Korean capital with Kim Jong Un, who was accompanied by his spy chief. Kim Chang-son, another aide to the North Korean leader, arrived in Singapore late yesterday to discuss logistics and security arrangements for the planned summit, Japanese broadcaster NHK reported.
The Koreas have agreed to put high-level discussions back on track with a meeting on Friday.
"Ultimately, denuclearisation and guaranteeing the North Korean regime can be considered the axis of the agenda (for the US-North Korea summit)", the official was quoted as saying.
However, South Korea's Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon stated that, in the name of the relaxing of tensions between North and South, there would be no restrictions on General Kim's travel to the Olympics.