Pompeo to meet top N.Korean official in NY

South Korean Marine amphibious assault vehicles fire smoke shells during a landing operation in the southern city of Pohang

U.S. South Korea Resume Military Drills Ahead of North Korea Nuclear Talks YONHAP AFP YONHAP 5 Nov 2018

This week's planned meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his North Korean counterpart has been postponed to a later date, the State Department announced.

"We will reconvene when our respective schedules permit", she said.

In announcing the meeting with Kim Yong Chol, Pompeo said he expected to "make some real progress" including on laying the groundwork for a second summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un.

The State Department said the top USA envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, will join Pompeo and Kim to discuss efforts toward what it calls "achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization" of North Korea.

Tensions between the USA 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. 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. "Ongoing conversations continue to take place".

The outcome of the United States 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.

That decision came after Kim Yong-chol met with Pompeo in NY in May. But we're not in any rush at all.

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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.

Russian Federation said in October it was time to consider the possibility of relaxing the worldwide restrictions against Pyongyang amid commitment expressed by North Korea's leadership to denuclearize of the Korean Peninsula.

Its leader, Kim Jong Un, has spoken of his hopes for reform of North Korea's economy and has looked to examples in the region.

Russian Federation and China repeatedly supported the gradual easing of United Nations sanctions against North Korea. -North Korea negotiations have completely broken down or "lost their momentum" because of the postponement.

"The fear from America's perspective would be that the South Koreans might go too fast and agree to things that would involve, for example, our troops, our economic postures that we wouldn't be prepared to give [at this stage], without perhaps getting significant concessions on reductions of weapons testing", retired U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney said Wednesday.

But the deal has resulted in few tangible results, other than the USA suspension of some military exercises with South Korea, and North Korea's stated dismantlement of certain nuclear and missile testing sites, which the US says falls short of its expectations.

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