Meeting between Pompeo and North Korea cancelled last-minute without explanation

If meeting not rescheduled it is a setback for peace talks

Kristin Hugo
New York
Wednesday 07 November 2018 22:29 GMT
Mike Pompeo meets with North Korean officials on visit to Pyongyang

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A meeting between representatives of North Korea and secretary of state Mike Pompeo was scheduled for Thursday in New York, but the meeting has been called off at the last minute without explanation.

The US state department claims that the meeting will be rescheduled, and North Korean officials say that a summit with the US is still on track. The topic of the upcoming summit between Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, is the process of denuclearising North Korea and maintaining a peaceful regime.

But last week, North Korea claimed that they would strengthen their nuclear weapons programme unless the US lifted economic sanctions against them.

Mr Pompeo was to meet Kim Yong Chol and the top US Envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, in preparation for another summit.

The cancelling or postponing of the meeting may be a setback for maintaining peace between the countries.

North Korean officials say that there is “no reason to overthink the postponement” and that the meeting will be rescheduled for whenever the schedules of the two parties allows for it.

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A meeting between high-level officials immediately following midterm elections was not a realistic goal, Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korea expert at Seoul's Dongguk University said. Besides, North Korea was not ready to make any certain statements on nuclear weapons. North Korea has not said that they would abandon negotiations with Washington, though.

Relations between American and North Korean politicians have been complicated. Mr Trump visited with Kim Jong Un earlier this year, when he asked for a list of locations of North Korean Missiles. Kim Jong Un refused, saying that would be like handing over a list of places for Americans to attack, Newsweek reported.

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