17:27 GMT21 October 2020
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    TOKYO (Sputnik) - Pyongyang has dismissed North Korea's main interlocutor in denuclearisation talks with the United States Kim Yong Chol as head of United Front Department of the North Korean Workers’ Party, Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday.

    According to Yonhap news agency citing a South Korean parliamentary official, Kim Yong Chol has been recently replaced by Jang Kum Chol, a barely known politician in his late 50s who has a career of working for civilian exchanges between the two Koreas.

    READ MORE: US Spy Plane Reportedly Scrambled Over Seoul After North Korea's New Weapon Test

    Earlier in the day, Kim Yong Chol did not accompany Kim Jong-un in his visit to Russia's Far East city of Vladivostok for a summit with President Vladimir Putin, the agency stressed. It was the first time Kim was absent in the leader's entourage during an overseas trip.

    Kim Yong Chol was Pyongyang's top negotiator in denuclearisation talks with Washington. His US counterpart was Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

    Nuclear negotiations between the United States and North Korea came to deadlock after the second summit in Hanoi when Pyongyang said it wanted Washington to lift all sanctions on the country before it started denuclearising and then faced US refusal.

    On Wednesday, the Kremlin said that Russian President Vladimir Putin and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would meet at about 1 p.m. Vladivostok time (03:00 GMT) on Thursday.


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