High-level US-North Korea meeting postponed without reason

Evarado Alatorre
Noviembre 7, 2018

The U.S. State Department says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kim Yong-chol, the head of Pyeongyang's intelligence agency, will meet in NY on Thursday to discuss denuclearization and the implementation of the June 12th summit declaration.

The top USA military officer said on Monday that the United States would have to start making changes to its military posture on the Korean peninsula over time if talks with North Korea advance.

It did not specify why the meetings were postponed or at which side's request. Pompeo has travelled four times this year to North Korea to work on achieving an accord.

Seoul's Foreign Ministry also expressed hope that the US and North Korea can quickly reschedule a high-level meeting.

Lately it has been pushing for verification of any inventory the North provides, which would put the focus on the inspection of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site and Tongchang-ri missile engine test facility the North has destroyed as well as the Yongbyon nuclear plant, which is still very active. -North Korean meetings in Pyongyang in early October.

They still have not visited.

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The development comes amid strained ties between South Korea and the U.S. over how to negotiate denuclearisation with North Korea. On Sunday, Pompeo dismissed that as posturing ahead of negotiations this week.

There was much talk of the possibility of success following a meeting in June between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, but in the months since there has been little to quiet skeptics who believe the North will never give up weapons it has described as necessary to counter a hostile Washington. One of the main goals of this week's planned meeting was to ensure that the summit was productive, according to Pompeo, by preparing some agreements for the two leaders to sign.

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

"Chairman Kim Jong-un has said that declaring an end to the Korean War has nothing to do with withdrawing US troops in South Korea or weakening the US-South Korea alliance".

To that end, the USA and South Korea announced last week the creation of a new working group to "strengthen our close coordination", including on "sanctions implementation and inter-Korean cooperation that comply with the United Nations sanctions", according to State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino.

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