Pompeo's meeting with North Koreans postponed
November 07 2018 09:55 AM
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, and Kim Yong Chol, left, a North Korean senior ruling party o
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, and Kim Yong Chol, left, a North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief, arrive for a lunch at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang, North Korea. July 7, 2018 file photo.

Reuters/Washington

A meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials set for Thursday in New York has been postponed and will be rescheduled "when our respective schedules permit," the US State Department said on Wednesday.

In a statement, it added, "Ongoing conversations continue to take place," but did not elaborate.
"The United States remains focused on fulfilling the commitments agreed to by President Trump and Chairman Kim at the Singapore summit in June," it said.
The exact reason for the postponement was unclear.
A senior South Korean foreign ministry official said that although the rescheduling was regrettable, there was no need to "overthink the postponement", according to Yonhap news agency on Wednesday.
"I think we have to look at it as a part of the process of reaching complete denuclearisation and setting up a peace regime," Yonhap cited the unnamed official as saying.
Pompeo had been due to hold talks with senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol, which were hoped to pave the way for a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and make progress on denuclearization.
Trump's Republican party lost control of the US House of Representatives on Tuesday after the Democrats rode a wave of dissatisfaction with his presidency at US mid-term elections.
While Republicans maintained control of the Senate, the Democrats now have the opportunity to block Trump's agenda and open his administration to intense scrutiny.
Some analysts suggest a domestically weakened Trump may impact his foreign policy, even test his North Korean diplomatic gambit.
Pompeo's meeting agenda had been to "discuss making progress on all four pillars of the Singapore Summit joint statement, including achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization" of North Korea, the State Department had said this week.
Trump and Kim held their first summit in Singapore in June -- the first summit of an incumbent US president and a North Korean leader.
At that meeting, Kim, who is seeking relief from tough US-led sanctions, committed to work toward denuclearization, but his steps since have fallen short of US demands for irreversible moves to abandon a weapons program that potentially threatens the United States.



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