Denuclearization deadlock as Pompeo's meeting with N. Koreans delayed


A day after announcing that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a top North Korean official would hold talks in NY this week, the U.S. Department of State abruptly said Wednesday the meeting has been postponed to an unspecified later date.

A planned meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a senior North Korean envoy was postponed at the last minute, casting a new shadow over nuclear talks between the rival nations.

The cancellation of the talks comes just a week after North Korea threatened to resume its nuclear weapons programme if the U.S. failed to lift sanctions against the country.

The meeting between Pompeo and Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of the Central Committee of the North's ruling Workers' Party, would have been an opportunity to continue denuclearization talks and discuss a second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

At a White House press conference, the president said Pompeo's meeting with Kim Yong Chol will be rescheduled.

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"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.

At the State Department on Wednesday, deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said the postponement "is purely a scheduling issue".

Kim and Trump signed an agreement at their landmark summit in June to rid the Korean Peninsula of nuclear weapons, but the two sides have been at odds over the pace of Pyongyang's efforts to end its nuclear weapons program.

"Because over time, this negotiation will take a form where we're going to have to start making some changes to the military posture on the peninsula".

Diplomatic sources told CBS News reporter Kylie Atwood as recently as Monday that senior State Department officials were still confident in the plans for Pompeo's now-delayed meeting in NY.

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Pompeo insists the administration will maintain pressure on the North Korean regime until it sees concrete measures to dismantle its nuclear weapons program.

"We're very happy with how it's going with North Korea".

Pyongyang's former spymaster and has been Pomepeo's counterpoint through most of the US-North Korea negotiations in 2018.

A North Korean tourism industry official recently told the Chosun Sinbo that Panmunjom, where Moon and Kim held their first summit in April, is the most popular tourist destination in the North. It also has returned the remains of US troops killed in the 1950-53 Korean War. -North Korea dialogue, sought to play down the talks delay.

The top USA military officer said on Monday (Nov 5) that the United States would have to start making changes to its military posture on the Korean peninsula over time if talks with North Korea advance.

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