Mike Pompeo's meeting with North Korean official postponed

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

In setback, Pompeo's North Korea meetings called off without explanation

Earlier in October, during the meeting in Pyongyang, the US state secretary and North Korean leader agreed to create a joint working group to discuss in the near future the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and another possible North Korean-US summit.

A meeting planned between US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and North Korean officials in NY later in the week has been postponed, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said in a press release.

The cancellation of the talks comes just a week after North Korea threatened to resume its nuclear weapons programme if the U.S. failed to lift sanctions against the country.

U.S. 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".

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference in the East Room at the White House in Washington, Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018.

State Department officials gave no further reasons for the delay to the meeting, although North Korea has stepped up its demands that the United States lift sanctions.

"Dunford is not talking about things that are going to happen immediately, but brought up issues that will be discussed inevitably", said Shin Beom-chul, a senior researcher at the Asan Institute, a Seoul-based security think tank. "We're in no rush".

Trump, in a free-wheeling news conference after midterm elections, said he was willing eventually to ease the pressure on North Korea. "Some time next year, I would say".

After last year's fears of war, North Korea and the United States are trying to revive stalled diplomacy meant to rid the North of its nuclear weapons.

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"The sanctions are on".

"Gen. Dunford was simply highlighting that the Defense Department is in support of the State Department when it comes to the ongoing diplomatic negotiations with North Korea", JCS spokesperson Col. Patrick S. Ryder told Voice of America.

North Korea has long sought USA recognition as a nuclear state and guarantees for the survival of the generational Kim regime, which human rights groups consider one of the most repressive in the world.

South Korea, which has worked to encourage U.S.

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.

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.

High on the agenda were expected to be a verification by USA 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.

"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.

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