A day after announcing that U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a top North Korean official would hold talks in NY this week, the U.S. Department of State abruptly said Wednesday the meeting has been postponed to an unspecified later date.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (right) and Kim Yong-chol, North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief, arrive for a lunch at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang July 7, 2018.
"We will reconvene when our respective schedules permit", she said in a statement.
Similarly, Trump, through a public letter on May 24, canceled his first summit with Kim Jong-un, which was in the works for June 12 in Singapore, blaming "open hostility" in Pyongyang's rhetoric.
But the regime recluse had cooled the atmosphere, threatening last week to resume the development of its nuclear arsenal if the sanctions that are choking its economy were not lifted.
Pyongyang accused Washington of derailing commitments made by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump at their June summit in Singapore.
Its leader, Kim Jong Un, has spoken of his hopes for reform of North Korea's economy and has looked to examples in the region. "I'd love to take the sanctions off, but they (North Korea) have to be responsive, too", Trump said on Wednesday.
The exact reason for the postponement was unclear.
The two sides are also expected to continue planning for a second summit between Trump and Kim early next year.
"We are going to make it another day", he said.
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".
The Democrats regained control of the US House of Representatives, where they will seek to keep Trump's agenda in check, while the Republicans maintained their majority in the Senate in Tuesday's midterm elections.
South Korean presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom said later Wednesday that his government doesn't believe U.S.
On Monday, US and South Korean marines conducted military drills under the Korean Marine Exchange Programme for the first time in months, according to South Korea's Defence Ministry.
Though some experts speculate the threat to build up nuclear forces could have been posturing by Pyongyang to gain leverage for the now-postponed talks, a source with knowledge of North Korea's position on denuclearization confirmed to CNN the Kim regime could change its stance on its nuclear program, if the U.S. does not alter its policy on easing economic sanctions. -China diplomatic and security dialogue in Washington on Friday.