"There was under-the-table contact before and after the North-U.S. high-level talks planned for Nov. 8 in New York … Around this time, the United States wanted North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho as its dialogue partner [rather than Kim]," an official familiar with the Pyongyang-Washington talks told the Korea JoongAng Daily.
"Kim has experience negotiating with South Korea, but he has been largely hostile, as he is an expert in military talks using straightforward speech. Because of this, the United States may have experienced something similar in its negotiations with him," the official argued.
US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have expressed their commitment for the full denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula at their historic summit in Singapore in June. Since then, the two sides have been engaged in talks on the issue.