Denuclearization deadlock as Pompeo's meeting with N. Koreans delayed

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

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been due to meet senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol in NY on Thursday to try to pave the way for a second summit between Trump and Kim and make progress on denuclearization.

"Secretary Pompeo will travel to New York City with Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun to meet with DPRK Vice Chairman of the Central Committee Kim Yong Chol on November 8", the statement said.

But in Seoul, Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of the studies of north korea, has seen a bad sign in this report.

The State Department previously announced that the meeting agenda would be focused on making progress on the four points of the Singapore summit agreement, including "achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization" of North Korea.

The cancellation of the talks comes just a week after North Korea threatened to resume its nuclear weapons programme if the USA failed to lift sanctions against the country.

"We're working on finding dates and times and places that will work for each of the two leaders", Pompeo said at the time. It's a two-way street.

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

"I think we have to look at it as a part of the process of reaching complete denuclearization and setting up a peace regime", the unnamed official told reporters.

South Korea, however, said the delay does not mean the summit won't happen or "momentum for the summit has been lost", reported Reuters, quoting presidential spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeo. A senior official at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul cautioned against reading too much into the decision to postpone the meeting.

The high-level North-U.S. talks had been set to take place in New York Thursday, a follow-up to Pompeo's fourth visit to Pyongyang last month. But the Blue House would not reveal the reason for the postponement, referring questions to the State Department.

Ryder added that the Pentagon has already taken measures "to support Secretary Pompeo's efforts" like suspending large-scale joint drills with South Korea earlier this year.

This week Kim hosted President Miguel Diaz-Canel of Cuba - another country under US sanctions - during a lavish visit in Pyongyang, where the two leaders vowed to boost their cooperation.

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