Kim Jong Un aided, Pompeo too busy to meet, Seoul says

World | 8 Nov 2018 1:38 pm

South Korea’s foreign minister quoted U.S. officials as saying that it was North Korea that canceled a meeting this week between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a senior North Korean official on nuclear issues.

North Korea sent a notification to Washington to call off the meeting aimed at discussing the North’s denuclearization and setting up a second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Foreign Minister Kang Kyung Wha said today.

Kang provided no reason on why North Korea canceled the meeting in New York. Kang told lawmakers she planned to discuss the matter with Pompeo over the phone.

"We were notified by the United States that North Korea explained that (the meeting) should be postponed because both sides have busy schedules,” Kang said. "Secretary of State Pompeo has already said that the meeting will be rescheduled. I think it would be excessive to read too much into the postponement of the meeting.”

Trump told reporters at the White House that the United States is "in no rush” and that the meeting between Pompeo and his North Korean counterpart Kim Yong Chol would be rescheduled.

U.S. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said the postponement was "purely a scheduling issue” but refused to elaborate. He did not provide a straightforward answer when asked whether a discord over U.S.-led sanctions against the North, which Pyongyang says must be removed before any progress in nuclear talks, has made it more difficult to set up meetings.

"Timing, timing,” Palladino said. "This has to do with timing as a matter - we’re talking about scheduling. And I’ll leave it at that.”-AP

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