North Korea cancels nuclear talks with US

Elias Hubbard
November 8, 2018

The statement comes as a meeting between secretary of state Mike Pompeo and senior North Korean officials in NY scheduled for Thursday, was cancelled at the last minute, while Trump declared he was "in no rush" to advance talks.

But the State Department said early on Wednesday that the meeting had been postponed and gave no reason, raising concerns that talks aimed at persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear arms could break down. "This is the case we're dealing with, purely a scheduling issue, and it's as simple as that", the US State Department's deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said at a regular briefing.

Trump told reporters at the White House that the United States is "in no rush" and that the meeting between Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol would be rescheduled.

"It is an estimate for now. we will continue efforts, including policy coordination with the United States, to carry out the projects agreed between the two Koreas without a hitch", said the official who declined to be named. Kang quoted U.S. officials as saying that it was North Korea that canceled a meeting this week between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a senior North Korean official on nuclear issues. We think it's going fine. But we're not in any rush at all.

Before this week's cancellation, Trump said he wouldn't play a "time game" with the North over a denuclearization deal, while his national security director, John Bolton, said a second Kim-Trump summit won't happen until 2019. "Some time next year, I would say".

Kim Jong Un shifted to diplomacy early this year and has held three summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Pyongyang has complained that Washington has not made concessions in return for the moves it has taken and last Friday warned it could resume development of its nuclear program if the United States did not drop its sanctions campaign.

But North Korea has since insisted that US -led sanctions against it should be lifted before there will be any progress in nuclear negotiations.

"The sanctions are on".

"I would love to take the sanctions off, but they have to be responsive, too", Trump said.

At a press conference following the U.S. midterm elections, Mr Trump repeated his boast that he had personally established peaceful relations with Mr Kim at their summit in Singapore in June.

South Korea and the USA tried to play down speculation that the meeting was postponed due to stark differences between Washington and Pyongyang on how the denuclearization process should proceed.

"The US explained to us that North Korea had asked the US to delay the meeting because their schedules were very hectic", Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said at a parliamentary session on Thursday.

The meeting was postponed at North Korea's request because of the "hectic schedules" of both countries, the Foreign Ministry said.

Democrats have said they are determined to obtain more information about meetings between Trump and Pompeo and Kim, anxious that Trump is so eager to make a "great deal" that he will give Kim too much with little in return.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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