A high-ranking North Korean official left Beijing for New York on Wednesday apparently to meet with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Worker's Party of Korea, took Air China flight CA981, according to diplomatic sources here.
His five-member entourage appears to include Choe Kang-il, acting director-general for North American affairs at the North Korean foreign ministry, and Kim Song-hye, an official who has long been in charge of inter-Korean issues.
Kim evaded contact with media at the international airport in Beijing.
The U.S. confirmed earlier that he will visit New York this week and announced that Pompeo is also traveling there.
They are expected to hold last-stage discussions on whether to press ahead with the unprecedented summit between the two sides in Singapore on June 12.