Trump hopes to meet N.Korea leader next year but counsels patience

Trump hopes to meet N.Korea leader next year but counsels patience

"Ongoing conversations continue to take place", it read.

But Pompeo abruptly postponed the talks in NY. It is also unclear which side asked for the postponement.

Mr Pompeo had been due to hold talks with senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol, which were hoped to have opened the way for a second summit of the two countries' leaders and make progress on denuclearisation.

The high-level meeting was planned amid escalating tug of war between the U.S. and North Korea over lifting of economic sanctions on the North, and a lack of visible progress on North Korea's denuclearization since their leaders' summit in June.

After the cancellation, South Korea tried to quell concerns Wednesday, with presidential spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom telling reporters, "We don't believe that the delay means the North Korea-U.S. summit won't happen or momentum for the summit has been lost", according to Reuters. "We will reconvene when our respective schedules permit".

North Korea has long sought USA recognition as a nuclear state and guarantees for the survival of the generational Kim regime, which human rights groups consider one of the most repressive in the world.

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.

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The U.S. State Department earlier said the top U.S. envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, was to join Pompeo and Kim to discuss how to get to what it calls "achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization" of North Korea. "But I think North Korea might have not been up for it". Just a year ago, he was threatening "fire and fury" against North Korea.

In a wide-ranging news conference after congressional elections, Trump said he was willing to accede to North Korea's key demand of easing sanctions "but they have to be responsive to us".

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un told President Moon Jae-in during a summit that submitting an inventory of his country's nuclear arsenal and facilities to the US could spark an attack, national security adviser Chung Eui-yong said Tuesday.

Park Byung-kwang of the Institute for National Security Strategy in Seoul, said, "It appears to be an attempt to convey the North's thoughts and to gauge our stance at a time when progress in U.S".

Former president Barack Obama, who generally welcomed chances to improve relations with United States adversaries, was skeptical of North Korea and pursued a policy of "strategic patience" - effectively deciding to wait indefinitely so long as the regime does not budge.

Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University and a policy adviser to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, said a high-level meeting between the USA and North Korea immediately after the US midterm elections was never realistic, especially when the North was in no mood to make any concrete concessions. "So they might have needed to reschedule the meeting".

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