Trump says summit with N. Korea to happen early next year

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters during a news briefing at the State Department in Washington

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters during a news briefing at the State Department in Washington

North Korea and the United States are finally going to be sitting down for high-level talks - some five months after their summit in Singapore.

North Korea - considered by human rights groups to be one of the most oppressive regimes in the world - has for years sought formal U.S. recognition as a way to guarantee the regime's survival.

The State Department had earlier confirmed that Pompeo would meet Kim Yong Chol, a close aide of Kim, in NY to discuss progress toward a denuclearisation pact and to arrange a second summit following the historic talks between Trump and Kim in June.

News of the postponement came after North Korea's Foreign Ministry criticized the US on Friday for its continued support of sanctions and hinted it may resume nuclear development. "We are confident going forward", Palladino told reporters during a regular briefing. North Korea's Foreign Ministry said the US President Donald Trump's administration had failed to understand its repeated demand.

"This last-minute announcement of a delay is not a good signal as it indicates negotiations were not going well enough to go ahead with the planned meeting", he said.

"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 USA leaders.

However, Ryder said the Pentagon "must be prepared to adjust as appropriate" if negotiations with North Korea advance, indicating that there could be changes to the military exercises with South Korea that are scheduled to take place next year.

While both the US and South Korea all want peace and stability in the Korea peninsula, there is a "fear" that fast-developing inter-Korean relations may get out of step with Washington, according to former USA officials and experts.

Trump has cast North Korea as a crowning diplomatic achievement and is eager for a fresh summit with Kim at which the two may formally declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War. That effort has stalled, with North Korea refusing to declare the details of its nuclear capabilities or, so far, allow worldwide inspectors into the country to verify claims that is has dismantled certain sites.

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.

On Sunday, Pompeo said he was "not worried" about the North Korean demands and insisted there would be "no economic relief until we have achieved our ultimate objective".

United States critics say that North Korea has yet to make any concrete concessions and it has rejected demands for what it described as its "unilateral disarmament".

"Keeping these things in sync is always a challenge", said former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Danny Russel.

"Russia has indeed asked for discussing the issue of North Korean sanctions during tomorrow's USNC consultations as part of the "Miscellaneous" section [of the agenda] ..."

"The immediate priorities of reconciliation, family visit, and potential for infrastructure and trade between North and South [Korea] look a lot different from Seoul and from Washington as does the global non-proliferation agenda", he added.

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