US abruptly postpones top-level N Korea talks

Leroy Wright
November 10, 2018

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will hold a meeting with a visiting senior official from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in NY on Thursday, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

Pompeo said in an interview with CBS Sunday that he expects to make "some real progress" when he meets with his counterpart, including on the potential summit, "where we can make substantial steps towards denuclearization".

The June meeting of President Donald Trump and DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore was the first summit meeting of an incumbent United States president and a DPRK leader.

There's been little diplomatic progress in the five months since the June summit in Singapore where the USA and North Korean leaders committed to "denuclearization" of the divided Korean Peninsula.

Pompeo has travelled four times this year to North Korea to work on achieving an accord.

Trump suggested at a news conference Wednesday that a meeting between Pompeo and his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yong Chol, that was supposed to take place Thursday in NY would be rescheduled because of a conflict that he didn't explain.

US officials have said Vietnam's socialist market economy could be an example for North Korea.

"Not only complete denuclearization, but our capacity to verify that that has taken place is also a prerequisite to lifting economic sanctions", he said on CBS.

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A senior South Korean Foreign Ministry official familiar with the talks said Wednesday, "Our government had been looking forward to the North-U.S. high-level talks to bring about actual measures for the denuclearization and establishment of permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula, hence we think it is regrettable that they are not taking place". "We're in no rush", he said at a press conference.

Atwood also noted that North Korea's state-run news agency KCNA has recently put out aggressive messages saying the Kim regime only suspended its nuclear testing with the expectation that the US would begin easing sanctions.

Trump also said he'll meet with Kim "sometime early next year".

Pompeo was supposed to travel to NY on Thursday to meet with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yong Chol. Then, North Korea agreed to allow inspectors to visit its missile engine test site and nuclear test site.

North Korea warned last week that it will consider reviving its nuclear weapons program if the United States fails to lift its crippling economic sanctions against the regime. -North Korea negotiations have completely broken down or "lost their momentum" because of the postponement.

United States critics say that North Korea has yet to make any concrete concessions and it has rejected demands for what it described as its "unilateral disarmament".

The ministry and south Korean foreign Affairs has deemed the report "unfortunate" but felt that the "interpretations overly pessimistic" does not justify.

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