High-Level Talks Between U.S. and North Korea Postponed at the Last Minute

FILE PHOTO Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, and Kim Yong Chol, left, 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, Saturday, July 7, 2018. Andrew Harnik/Pool via Reuters/File Photo

High-level talks between the United States and North Korea have been postponed, the State Department announced Wednesday without giving a specific reason for the decision.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had been scheduled to meet with senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol in New York on Thursday. The meeting was billed as preparation for a planned second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un.

The State Department said that Pompeo’s meeting “will now take place at a later date” and the two sides would “reconvene when our respective schedules permit.”

Trump and Kim met in Singapore in June, signing an agreement that pledged to work toward to denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Experts criticized it for being vague on detail.

Since then, little headway has been made and both sides appear to be hardening their negotiating positions.

Last week, North Korea warned it could resume its state policy of strengthening its nuclear arsenal unless the U.S. lifted sanctions.

In August, Trump abruptly canceled another visit by Pompeo to North Korea, citing a lack of progress in the talks.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Alexander Smith, Stella Kim and Abigail Williams