Mike Pompeo's meeting with North Korean official postponed

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo right and Kim Yong Chol a North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief arrive for a lunch at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang North Korea

The fact that North Korean leader Kim Jong-un assigned Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, to the talks rather than a diplomat could mean that North Korea only wanted to talk about plans for a North Korea-US summit, Woo noted.

The State Department said early on Wednesday that the meeting had been postponed, but gave no reason, raising concerns that talks aimed at persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear arms could break down. "We will reconvene when our respective schedules permit".

During a press conference on Wednesday mostly focused on midterm USA elections, Trump contended that he had made more progress with North Korea than past administrations, and said that with sanctions still in place, he was not in a hurry to reach a deal with Pyongyang, which has halted nuclear and missile tests for the past year.

Trump, in a free-wheeling news conference after midterm elections, said he was willing eventually to ease the pressure on North Korea. We think it's going fine. But we're not in any rush at all.

Trump said he still expected to hold a second summit with Kim.

"And nobody else could have done what I have done", he said.

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.

"Pompeo's meeting with officials from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, scheduled for this week in NY, will now take place at a later date", Nauert said.

More news: Grenade-shaped belt buckle halts trains in Madrid, Barcelona

"The sanctions are on. Ongoing conversations continue to take place", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

But the growing divide between the USA and South Korea also has many concerned, as liberal President Moon Jae-in pushes for closer Korean ties including demilitarizing the border and increasing economic cooperation.

The official was also open to the possibility of a working-level meeting between Stephen Biegun, the U.S. envoy for North Korea, and his North Korean counterpart Choi Son-hui. "There's no rush whatsoever", Trump told reporters at the White House.

A Thursday meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his North Korean counterpart in NY has been abruptly called off without explanation in another setback for the Trump administration's nuclear negotiations.

While Republicans maintained control of the Senate, the Democrats now have the opportunity to block Trump's agenda and open his administration to intense scrutiny.

"We made more progress in that four or five months (since the summit) than they have made in 70 years", he said, referring to previous U.S. leaders.

High on the agenda were expected to be a verification by United States inspectors of North Korea's Punggye-ri nuclear test site, which it dismantled in May, and its Tongchang-ri missile engine test site, and possibly its key Yongbyon nuclear complex as well.

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