Pompeo Meeting With North Korean Officials Postponed - US State Department

Erika Holt
November 8, 2018

U.S. and foreign sources close to the talks paint a picture that's starkly different from the image President Donald Trump sought to convey Wednesday, when he told reporters the administration is "very happy with how it's going with North Korea".

A meeting between US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials set for Thursday (Nov 8) in NY has been postponed and will be rescheduled "when our respective schedules permit", the US State Department said on Wednesday.

The top U.S. diplomat's meeting with Kim "will now take place at a later date" and they will reconvene when their "respective schedules permit", according to a statement by State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert.

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

"I would love to take the sanctions off, but they have to be responsive too".

Pompeo and Kim were expected to discuss Pyongyang's denuclearization steps and Washington's corresponding measures to lay the groundwork for the second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"We will make it another day". Some have questioned whether US Forces Korea would consider withdrawing if North Korea made substantial progress on denuclearization.

"But I will say this, I will say this very simply - We are in no rush, the sanctions are on", he said.

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"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.

After last year's fears of war, North Korea and the United States are trying to revive stalled diplomacy meant to rid the North of its nuclear weapons.

But the Trump administration says that sanctions must remain as pressure until a final accord, rejecting an incremental approach favored by ally South Korea as well as calls to end sanctions by China and Russian Federation. "North Korea relation and ways for permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula", as agreed by their leaders at the Singapore Summit in June.

High on the agenda were expected to be a verification by U.S. inspectors of North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site, which it dismantled in May, and its Tongchang-ri missile engine test site, and possibly its key Yongbyon nuclear complex as well.

He visited NY in May for talks with Pompeo in what was the highest-level trip by a North Korean to the United States in almost two decades.

Democrats have said they are determined to obtain more information about meetings between Trump and Pompeo and Kim, anxious that Trump is so eager to make a "great deal" that he will give Kim too much with little in return.

"And nobody else could have done what I have done", he said. North Korea's propaganda services have not mentioned the meeting.

Meanwhile, Kim Song-hye at the North's Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland and Ri Jong-hyok, the deputy head of the rubberstamp Supreme People's Assembly, will visit South Korea next week for a seminar in Gyeonggi Province discussing peace in the region, according to the Unification Ministry.

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