US Secretary Mike Pompeo on Tuesday decided to call off talks with a top North Korean official in New York. The talk was supposed to happen on Thursday to secure a potentially landmark peace deal.
The talks between President Donald Trump’s top diplomat and the North Korean delegation, which had been due on Thursday, “will now take place at a later date,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's postponement of talks came amid emerging differences between Seoul and Washington, which stations 28,500 troops in the South to protect it from its nuclear-armed neighbour.https://t.co/04FeWm2NHD
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“We will reconvene when our respective schedules permit,” she added.
There were no reasons cited for the delay of the meeting.
The State Department only a day earlier had confirmed Pompeo’s meeting with Kim Yong Chol in New York to discuss a denuclearization pact and to arrange a summit following landmark talks between Trump and Kim in June.
Kim and Trump pledged to work toward denuclearization at the June meeting, but the agreement was short on specifics. Negotiations have made little headway since, with the North falling short of U.S. demands for irreversible moves to abandon a weapons program that potentially threatens the United States.
Kim Yong Chol is a general, a former top intelligence chief and right-hand man to the North Korean leader. He visited New York in May for talks with Pompeo in what was the highest-level trip by a North Korean to the United States in nearly two decades.
South Korea has; however, said the delay will not derail a second North Korea-U.S. summit. A senior South Korean foreign ministry official said that although the rescheduling was regrettable, there was no need to “overthink the postponement”.