North Korea talks could affect U.S. military posture in Korea: Dunford

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo right and Kim Yong Chol a North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief arrive for a lunch at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang North Korea

The U.S. State Department earlier said the top U.S. envoy for North Korea, Stephen Biegun, was to join Pompeo and Kim to discuss how to get to what it calls "achieving the final, fully verified denuclearization" of North Korea.

The meeting's delay until "a later date" - announced earlier Wednesday by State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert, who also gave no reason - provoked concerns that nuclear talks between the US and North Korea had again bogged down, as Kim's regime seeks sanctions relief before taking key disarmament steps.

In a statement released at midnight, the department said the two sides "will reconvene when our respective schedules permit".

Washington says it takes North Korea's human rights abuses very seriously, but that now is the time to focus its efforts on getting North Korea denuclearized.

The objective of the meeting would be to prepare for a second summit between the leaders of both countries, Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, to resume Pyongyang's denuclearization talks that began during the historic June meeting in Singapore.

Kim pledged to work toward denuclearization at an unprecedented first meeting with Trump in Singapore but negotiations have made little headway since, with North Korea falling short of USA demands for irreversible moves to abandon a weapons program that potentially threatens the United States.

The ministry and south Korean foreign Affairs has deemed the report "unfortunate" but felt that the "interpretations overly pessimistic" does not justify.

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Trump told a White House news conference the change was "because of trips that are being made", but did not elaborate on these."We are going to make it. another day", he said.

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

Asked if he still plans to have the second summit, the United States president said, "Sometime next year, I would say. Sometime early next year", he said.

South Korea's presidential office said the government would later announce its stance over the postponed meeting, but South Korean news agency Yonhap said South Korean officials were notified by the US of the postponement before it was announced in Washington.

Last week, the North's foreign ministry threatened to return to Pyongyang's former policy of "byeongjin", which calls for simultaneously developing its nuclear program and economy, if the us did not start lifting sanctions.

South Korea's foreign ministry said the meeting delay was "regrettable" but insisted that "excessively pessimistic interpretation was unnecessary".

Diplomatic sources told CBS News reporter Kylie Atwood as recently as Monday that senior State Department officials were still confident in the plans for Pompeo's now-delayed meeting in NY. On Sunday, Pompeo dismissed that as posturing ahead of negotiations this week.

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