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N. Korea replaces official involved in negotiations with U.S.

All News 18:07 April 24, 2019

SEOUL, April 24 (Yonhap) -- A senior North Korean official involved in talks with the United States has been replaced as chief of a key espionage agency handling inter-Korean affairs, an official of the parliamentary intelligence committee said Wednesday.

Kim Yong-chol, head of the United Front Department, was recently replaced by Jang Kum-chol, according to the official.

Kim was one of top negotiators involved in leader Kim's February summit with U.S. President Donald Trump in Hanoi, which ended without a deal as they failed to find common ground over Pyongyang's denuclearization steps and Washington's sanctions relief.

His absence in leader Kim's entourage that arrived in Russia's Far East city of Vladivostok later in the day for a summit with President Vladimir Putin raised speculation over his possible replacement.

It is the first time that he has not accompanied the leader on an overseas trip.

kokobj@yna.co.kr
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