Hayden: Former North Korean spy chief ‘worth talking to’

Hayden: Former North Korean spy chief ‘worth talking to’

Former National Security Agency (NSA) Director Michael Hayden said Monday it’s “worth talking to” the North Korean official traveling to the United States this week to discuss the potential June summit that President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch To ward off recession, Trump should keep his mouth and smartphone shut Trump: 'Who is our bigger enemy,' Fed chief or Chinese leader? MORE canceled last week.

In an interview with CNN’s “New Day,” Hayden said the U.S. must put the actions Kim Yong Chol is accused of “aside” to proceed toward talks between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Trump.


“You have to greet him, sit down and talk with him because he is both knowledgeable and authoritative,” Hayden told CNN.

“He comes here with the writ of the president of North Korea. And this is the person, the individual, that is worth talking to, to try to hammer out some common ground, if it exists.”

Trump early Tuesday confirmed that Kim Yong Chol, who is the vice chairman of the North Korean Workers’ Party Central Committee, is traveling to New York. The official previously oversaw North Korea's intelligence agency.

“We have put a great team together for our talks with North Korea. Meetings are currently taking place concerning Summit, and more,” the president wrote on Twitter.

“Kim Young Chol, the Vice Chairman of North Korea, heading now to New York. Solid response to my letter, thank you!”

Hayden said Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoThe Hill's Campaign Report: Democratic field begins to shrink ahead of critical stretch Putin orders response to US missile test The Hill's Morning Report: How will Trump be received at G-7? MORE would be “a very, very good choice” for a U.S. official to meet with Kim Yong Chol.

Trump last week announced the cancellation of the June 12 summit in Singapore, where the president was slated to discuss Pyongyang’s nuclear program with Kim Jong Un.

But the president has insisted that U.S. officials are still working to make the meeting happen.

Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said over the weekend that North Korea is dedicated both to the summit and to dismantling its nuclear program.