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Mike Pompeo's meeting with North Korean official postponed

By Wooyoung Lee
Mike Pompeo's meeting with North Korean official postponed
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrives at Osan Air Base in Pyeongtaek, South Korea, on Oct. 7. File Pool Photo by Yonhap

SEOUL, Nov. 7 (UPI) -- U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's meeting with his North Korean counterpart, scheduled for Thursday in New York, has been postponed, the State Department said Wednesday.

"We will reconvene when our respective schedules permit. Ongoing conversations continue to take place," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

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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.

They were expected to discuss "making progress on all four pillars of the Singapore Summit joint statement, including achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization of the DPRK," according to the statement.

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The United States notified the South Korean government of the postponement before the announcement, Yoon Young-chan, senior secretary to the president for public communication, told reporters Wednesday.

Presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom also said that the delay doesn't mean cancellation and would not affect the drive for talks between the United States and North Korea.

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Kim raised hope for a meeting between Pompeo and Kim in a press briefing on Tuesday. He said the United States and North Korea could discuss "setting a new U.S.-North Korea relation and ways for permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula," as agreed by their leaders at the Singapore Summit in June.

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Since U.S. President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un met in Singapore in June, working-level talks seemed to have made little progress. South Korean President Moon jae-in, who has been acting as a mediator, held a summit with Kim Jong Un aiming to break the deadlock.

Pompeo made a brief trip to Pyongyang to meet with Kim Jong Un on Oct. 7.

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