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Pompeo's meeting with North Koreans postponed
10 November 2018, 06:53 | Devin Moran
In setback, Pompeo's North Korea meetings called off without explanation
"This meeting, which was to be held in NY with Kim Yong Chol, one of the closest collaborators of the north Korean leader, will be organised again at a later date", "when our respective agendas permit", has just announced on Tuesday in the late evening, the spokeswoman of the u.s. department of State Heather Nauert.
The State Department had just one day earlier confirmed that Pompeo would meet in NY with Kim Yong Chol - one of the North Korean leader's right-hand men - to discuss progress toward a denuclearization pact and to work to arrange a second summit following historic talks between Trump and Kim in June.
The State Department provided no explanation for the meeting's postponement.
A Thursday meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his North Korean counterpart in NY has been abruptly called off without explanation in another setback for the Trump administration's nuclear negotiations.
The State Department said the talks would be rescheduled "when our respective schedules permit".
The cancellation comes amid North Korean threats to restart its nuclear development unless the US begins to remove sanctions - a step the administration says it will not take until North Korea meaningfully moves to denuclearize, which it so far has not done.
The June meeting of President Donald Trump and DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore was the first summit meeting of an incumbent USA president and a DPRK leader.
The meeting was formally announced only Monday, with the State Department saying that Pompeo will meet with Kim Yong-chol, a close aide to the leader and vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee.
We start with some news just in within the past hour or so.
"I expect us to make real progress, for example, that the summit between our two leaders can be held", he added.
North Korea announced earlier this year that it would make a strategic shift away from its dual-track strategy of investing in the economy and the nuclear program and would instead focus all efforts on economic development.
DPRK stands for North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea. South Korea's foreign ministry said it was not aware of Ri's visit.
News of the postponement came after North Korea's Foreign Ministry criticized the US on Friday for its continued support of sanctions and hinted it may resume nuclear development. A senior official at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul cautioned against reading too much into the decision to postpone the meeting.
"The North Korea policy won't change, but there will be tighter oversight by the Democrats, which could involve more hearings and more investigations".
The Democrats regained control of the US House of Representatives, where they will seek to keep Trump's agenda in check, while the Republicans maintained their majority in the Senate in Tuesday's midterm elections.
Tensions between the US 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.
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