United States top diplomat Pompeo's meeting with North Koreans postponed

08 November, 2018, 02:50 | Author: Wade Massey
  • Kim Yong Chol of North Korea meets with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo last month in New York City

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been set to meet a top North Korean official on Thursday in NY to prepare a second summit and work on a potentially landmark deal on ending the totalitarian state's nuclear program.

Department of State spokesperson Heather Nauert said the talks between Pompeo and the North Korean delegation "will now take place at a later date" without giving a reason.

"Ongoing conversations continue to take place", it read.

Some analysts believe this weakened state could impact Trump's foreign policy and test his North Korean diplomatic gambit.

It did not specify why the meetings were postponed or at which side's request.

Mr Pompeo had been due to hold talks with senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol, which were hoped to have opened the way for a second summit of the two countries' leaders and make progress on denuclearisation.

The allies have already suspended most of their major joint exercises since the first US-North Korea summit in Singapore in June. "We will reconvene when our respective schedules permit", she said in a statement.

Cheong Wa Dae declined to comment on Dunford's remarks, but the presidential office reiterated Kim Jong-un's pledge, made during meetings with Moon and his top aides this year, that the North would not demand the withdrawal of USFK troops.

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Tensions between the USA and North Korea that spiked last year when Trump and Kim were trading insults and dire threats have ebbed this year, but the North has not taken irreversible steps to give up the nukes it spent decades making and which it views as key to its security. -North Korea negotiations have completely broken down or "lost their momentum" because of the postponement.

North Korea has for years pursued nuclear and missile programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions but the bellicose rhetoric from both Pyongyang and Trump that raised fears of war has eased this year.

"Pompeo's meeting with officials from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, scheduled for this week in NY, will now take place at a later date", Nauert said.

North Korea and the United States are finally going to be sitting down for high-level talks - some five months after their summit in Singapore.

"Agreeing to hold the summit with North Korea in itself appears to be leverage for the USA".

South Korea's foreign ministry said the meeting delay was "regrettable" but insisted that "excessively pessimistic interpretation was unnecessary".

During a press conference on Wednesday mostly focused on midterm US elections, Trump contended that he had made more progress with North Korea than past administrations, and said that with sanctions still in place, he was not in a hurry to reach a deal with Pyongyang, which has halted nuclear and missile tests for the past year. "So they might have needed to reschedule the meeting".

The latest NY meeting was set to come ahead of a busy season of diplomacy, with Pompeo meeting senior Chinese officials in Washington on Friday.

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