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N. Korea, U.S. rescheduling high-level talks: Seoul's top diplomat

Diplomacy 14:55 November 09, 2018

SEOUL, Nov. 9 (Yonhap) -- North Korea and the United States are trying to set a new date for a meeting between their top officials, Seoul's foreign minister said Friday in response to skepticism about momentum in denuclearization talks.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was supposed to meet Kim Yong-chol, a senior aide to the North's leader Kim Jong-un, in New York this week.

But it did not occur amid reports that Pyongyang demanded a delay in the talks.

"The U.S. has said conclusively that the talks have been postponed and will take place at a rescheduled time," Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha said at a National Assembly session.

The U.S. does not appear to be attaching big meaning to the delay in the meeting itself, she added.

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha speaks at a National Assembly session in Seoul on Nov. 9, 2018. (Yonhap)

On Russia's request for a closed-door U.N. Security Council session on North Korea, the minister said the issue of sanctions will likely be a main agenda item.

Russia and China have called for the easing of sanctions on the North, which has stayed away from provocative acts for months.

Kang said the government keeps a plan to hold a groundbreaking ceremony for the re-connection of inter-Korean railways and roads before the end of this year.

"(We) are in continued consultations with the U.S. (on the matter)," she said, adding there's still a divergent view to discuss between the allies.

Kang has not had phone talks with Pompeo since the U.S. announcement Wednesday on putting off the New York meeting.


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