Kim Jong-un's envoy has arrived in NY to try and reinstate plans to hold a summit between Donald Trump and his own country's leader.
Pompeo has frequently been involved in high-level talks with North Korean officials since joining the Trump administration, and traveled to the country earlier this month where he secured the release of three remaining US citizens held by the country. Discussing a possible meeting with Kim in the US, Trump said any summit must have "a hamburger on a conference table" instead of a state banquet.
While Pompeo has traveled twice to North Korea in recent weeks, the meeting will be the highest-level talks between the two sides in the US since 2000, when Vice Marshal Jo Myong Rok flew to Washington to meet with then-President Bill Clinton.
Washington wants North Korea to quickly give up all its nuclear weapons in a verifiable way in return for sanctions and economic relief.
Kim Yong Chol was previously chief of the Reconnaissance General Bureau, a top North Korean military intelligence agency, and has spent almost 30 years as a senior member of the intelligence community.
The two countries do not have a diplomatic relationship and North Korea only has a mission in NY for its delegation to the UN.
North Korea's Kim Yong-chol walks into a hotel in NY on Wednesday.
He helped coordinate Pompeo's two meetings in Pyongyang with the Korean leader in April and earlier this month.
He sat next to Trump's daughter Ivanka, who is also a White House aide, during February's closing ceremony for the Winter Olympics in South Korea, an event that was seen as a turning point in the nuclear crisis.
President Donald Trump previously cancelled the 12 June summit but both sides have since made fresh efforts to hold it as planned.
Unlike last month's summit, which was held in front of live TV cameras, Saturday's meeting took place in utmost secrecy, with reporters only told later that it had taken place.
In a dizzying turnaround less than a week after Trump announced the cancellation of the summit, Kim, the director of North Korea's United Front Department, which is responsible for inter-Korean relations, departed for NY from Beijing Wednesday.
In further diplomatic moves ahead of the proposed summit, Russian Federation announced that Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov would visit North Korea on Thursday.
"One major difference is that the current process is a top-down process where President Trump himself personally makes the decision "we will do the summit", "we will not do the summit"; and that kind of process may deliver extremely significant outcomes, but at the same time I think that there is a high risk that it would also lead to disastrous outcomes", Tanaka said.
Mr Kim Chang Son, the de facto chief of staff of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, flew into Singapore on Monday night and is believed to be staying at The Fullerton Hotel.
Russian Federation on Wednesday also announced that its foreign minister would be in North Korea on Thursday for talks.