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N. Korea-U.S. talks set for Thursday postponed Updated: 2018-11-08 03:12:41 KST


The high-level meeting set for Thursday between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, Kim Yong-chol, has been postponed.
State Department Spokesperson Heather Nauert released a statement on Wednesday, saying the two sides will meet when their respective schedules "permit."
Nauert also said that dialogue between the two sides will continue to take place and that Washington remains focused on fulfilling the June 12 Joint Agreement, signed by their two leaders at their first summit in June.
This comes just two days after the State Department announced Pompeo's meeting with Kim in New York.

Right after the news broke, a senior official at South Korea's foreign ministry told reporters that the South Korean government regrets the postponment and hopes it's rescheduled soon.

But the official also emphasized that the reporters should not put too much emphasis on the delay since this has happened before.
He added that this is unlikely to affect the 2nd North Korea-U.S. summit slated for sometime early next year.

Seoul had been informed of the news in advance, according to the official, through various means including the nuclear envoy channel.
Seoul's special representative for Korean Peninsula peace and security affairs Lee Do-hoon received a phone call from Washington's special representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun, during which the U.S. diplomat reportedly kept his tone low-key, and said that Washington will continue to talk with Pyeongyang.

While Seoul's official was careful not to spill why or who asked for the postponement, a South Korean media outlet reported earlier in the day, citing foreign affairs sources, that North Korea asked for the meeting to be pushed back because it was not prepared.
CNN cited two sources reporting that the move was clearly a signal that North Korea has not been willing to cooperate with Washington's expectations up to this point.

It said that the U.S. has been looking for some sort of concession from Pyeongyang, such as an inspection of its nuclear sites, before moving forward with next year's summit, but that North Korea, for its part, asked for the U.S. to offer something first, such as easing its sanctions.
Lee Ji-won, Arirang News.
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