Trump hopes to meet North Korean leader next year

Pompeo Meeting With North Korean Officials Postponed - US State Department

On Monday, the U.S. State Department said in a statement that Pompeo and Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun would meet with North Korea's vice chairman for the central committee Kim Yong-chol, a key aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, on Thursday.

Trump said the meeting, which had been due to take place on Thursday in NY, would be rescheduled, and that he still expected to hold a second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un early next year. The State Department said the meeting would take place at an unspecified later date, "when our respective schedules permit".

Tensions between the US 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.

"I would love to take the sanctions off, but they have to be responsive too". During the meeting, the two sides reached an agreement stipulating that Pyongyang would make efforts toward the promotion of complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula in exchange for security guarantees for North Korea.

"But I will say this, I will say this very simply - We are in no rush, the sanctions are on", he said.

News of the postponement came after North Korea's Foreign Ministry criticized the USA on Friday for its continued support of sanctions and hinted it may resume nuclear development.

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 the Trump administration says that sanctions must remain as pressure until a final accord, rejecting an incremental approach favored by ally South Korea as well as calls to end sanctions by China and Russian Federation.

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The high-level meeting was planned amid escalating tug of war between the United States 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.

Trump has cast his diplomacy with the elusive thirtysomething leader as evidence of his masterful deal-making. Pompeo has travelled four times this year to North Korea to work on achieving an accord.

Nauert did not offer an explanation as to why the talks were being postponed.

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.

"Until now, the sequence progressed backwards from the end of the list, but I believe the first two issues will also be discussed in earnest during the high-level talks", Kim said. -North Korea dialogue, sought to play down the talks delay.

Many North Korea watchers doubt that the regime will ever truly give up nuclear weapons, to which three generations of the Kim dynasty have generously devoted the country's scarce resources.

Former president Barack Obama, who generally welcomed chances to improve relations with USA 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.

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