In setback, Pompeo's North Korea meetings called off without explanation

Frederick Owens
November 10, 2018

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters during a news briefing at the State Department in Washington, U.S., October 23, 2018.

President Donald Trump played down concern over postponement of a meeting between Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and North Korean officials that was scheduled for this week, and said he expects to meet leader Kim Jong Un early next year.

It will be the second meeting between Pompeo and Kim in NY.

"The discussions are continuing", assured Heather Nauert.

Nauert said the U.S. remained focussed on fulfilling the commitments agreed to by President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the Singapore summit in June, reported The Washington Post.

Questioned by AFP on the grounds of this report, it did not wish to make further comments. That effort has stalled, with North Korea refusing to declare the details of its nuclear capabilities or, so far, allow worldwide inspectors into the country to verify claims that is has dismantled certain sites.

"This announcement of the postponement at the last minute is not a good sign because it indicates that the negotiations are not progressing well enough to allow the holding of the meeting", he said.

In their talks, Kim repeatedly cited Vietnam's successes, South Korean media reported.

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The chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff says the U.S. will have to make changes to its military posture on the Korean Peninsula if talks with North Korea advance. But these negotiations follow-up slip and have already received several strokes of the brake.

But the State Department said in a short statement on Wednesday that the officials would meet later "when our respective schedules permit".

Kim met South Korean President Moon Jae-in three times this year.

This is the main stumbling block in this approximation dramatically between the two enemy countries, whose leaders exchanged invectives and threats of nuclear war there is still a year and will now show their good agreement.

"We're working on finding dates and times and places that will work for each of the two leaders", Pompeo said at the time.

To that end, the USA and South Korea announced last week the creation of a new working group to "strengthen our close coordination", including on "sanctions implementation and inter-Korean cooperation that comply with the United Nations sanctions", according to State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino.

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