While President Donald Trump seems intent to make a deal with North Korea seemingly at any cost, the CIA has apparently deployed one of its most hawkish North Korea hands to be at the president’s side during the summit, allowing the intelligence community to rein in any of the president’s excesses as it angles for a historic diplomatic achievement.
In a piece published late Wednesday, Bloomberg profiles Andrew Kim, a CIA officer who first came to prominence when he was photographed sitting alongside Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during Pompeo’s first meeting with Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang.
Born and raised in South Korea, Kim is distantly related through his mother’s side of the family to Chung Eui-yong, South Korea’s national security adviser. He also briefly attended the same prestigious Seoul high school as Suh Hoo, the leader of Korea’s national intelligence service. Somehow, he ended up leading the CIA station in Seoul, and has since become known as the “Grim Reaper” for his extremely hawkish views on North Korea.