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

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

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

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has abruptly shelved plans to meet a senior North Korean official in NY without explanation, the latest twist in diplomatic attempts to secure a potentially landmark peace deal.

The State Department announced on Wednesday that the talks would be rescheduled, but gave no reason for the delay.

The State Department said the meeting would take place at an unspecified later date, "when our respective schedules permit".

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

No further details were released, other than to say that the United States "remains focused on fulfilling the commitments agreed to by President Trump and Chairman Kim at the Singapore Summit in June".

JS Tours has also offered a new five-night, six-day tour package bound for Mount Paekdu, saying Moon and Kim had a commemorative photo together at the Chonji crater lake on top of the North Korean mountain, according to RFA.

The outcome of the USA midterm elections is unlikely to change the course of Washington's North Korea policy but could slow the pace of the Donald Trump administration's diplomacy with North Korea, experts said Wednesday.

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.

Trump and Pompeo have consistently said that sanctions will not be removed until North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons and allows the global community to verify it has done so.

The two are expected to discuss "making progress on all four pillars of the Singapore Summit joint statement", said the department spokesperson Heather Nauert in a statement.

United States critics say that North Korea has yet to make any concrete concessions and it has rejected demands for what it described as its "unilateral disarmament".

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.

Though some experts speculate the threat to build up nuclear forces could have been posturing by Pyongyang to gain leverage for the now-postponed talks, a source with knowledge of North Korea's position on denuclearization confirmed to CNN the Kim regime could change its stance on its nuclear program, if the USA does not alter its policy on easing economic sanctions. South Korea's foreign ministry said it was not aware of Ri's visit.

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

Yonhap said Ri had told the Vietnamese government that North Korea hoped to learn from Vietnam's model of development.

South Korea's presidential office said it had received advance notice about the postponement of Thursday's meeting and tried to play down the impact on the overall process.

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