Published: Sat, November 10, 2018
Worldwide | By Angelina Lucas

Pompeo to meet N. Korea number two on Thursday

Pompeo to meet N. Korea number two on Thursday

The meeting between Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol, the former spy chief and now top nuclear negotiator, "will now take place at a later date. when our respective schedules permit", the US side said just after midnight on Wednesday, hours before Pompeo was supposed to travel to NY.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will meet a top aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in NY on Thursday, the State Department said.

State Department officials gave no further reasons for the delay to the meeting, although North Korea has stepped up its demands that the United States lift sanctions.

"The improvement of relations and sanctions are incompatible", said a statement carried by the official Korean Central News Agency.

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.

This graphic image shows U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) meeting with Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee, in NY in May 2018.

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.

In addition to Pompeo's talks with his counterpart, the NY meeting in NY was expected to be the first between Trump's special North Korean envoy, Stephen Biegun, and his counterpart, Choe Son Hui.

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The pair are slated to discuss progress on the "Four Pillars of the Singapore Summit Joint Statement", as well as the full denuclearization of the North Korea.

Over the weekend, North Korea criticized the United States for its continued support of sanctions and hinted it may resume nuclear development.

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

But the growing divide between the USA and South Korea also has many concerned, as liberal President Moon Jae-in pushes for closer Korean ties including demilitarizing the border and increasing economic cooperation. "The North side said 'both of our schedules are busy, so let's postpone, '" Kang said, according what she was told by the United States.

The UN Security Council is expected to meet behind closed doors at Russia's request on Thursday to discuss sanctions imposed on North Korea, diplomats said.

Trump also said he'll meet with Kim "sometime early next year".

At the beginning of July, the american secretary of State was thus returned empty-handed from a visit to North Korea, and the end of August, Donald Trump had cancelled at the last minute another planned trip of the minister to Pyongyang, recognizing for the first time the absence of sufficient progress. 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.

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 U.S. does not alter its policy on easing economic sanctions.

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