Kim Jong Il

2 trips to North Korea with top US diplomat, 18 years apart

It began with quiet words from State Department officials: Apply for a new passport immediately. You may soon be going to a country for which ordinary U.S. passports are not valid for travel.

Vague as it was, the instruction to two reporters last Friday left little doubt about our mystery destination: North Korea.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had visited the capital, Pyongyang, in complete secrecy while he was still CIA chief in early April to set the stage for an unprecedented summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Now, Washington was abuzz with rumors that he would be heading back soon to finalize details for the summit and...

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