China makes trade zone at North Korea border 'national priority'

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

Pompeo meeting with North Korean envoy delayed

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will hold a meeting with a visiting senior official from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) in NY on Thursday, the U.S. State Department said on Monday.

Heather Nauert, spokesperson for the U.S. State Department, said in a statement around midnight Tuesday that "Pompeo's meeting with officials from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, scheduled for this week in NY, will now take place at a later date".

The talks between President Donald Trump's top diplomat and the North Korean delegation, which had been due on Thursday, "will now take place at a later date", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

"We have a good opportunity to continue discussions around the denuclearization", said Sunday, Mike Pompeo, announcing his next meeting with Kim Yong Chol.

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This graphic image shows U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) meeting with Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee, in NY in May 2018.

"The fear from America's perspective would be that the South Koreans might go too fast and agree to things that would involve, for example, our troops, our economic postures that we wouldn't be prepared to give [at this stage], without perhaps getting significant concessions on reductions of weapons testing", retired U.S. Ambassador Kristie Kenney said Wednesday.

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Trump also said he'll meet with Kim "sometime early next year".

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North Korea's foreign ministry has warned that Pyongyang will "seriously" consider reviving its nuclear weapons program unless United States sanctions are lifted. It offered no reason, and the North's propaganda services has not mentioned the meeting. Then, North Korea agreed to allow inspectors to visit its missile engine test site and nuclear test site.

U.S. and foreign sources close to the talks paint a picture that's starkly different from the image President Donald Trump sought to convey Wednesday, when he told reporters the administration is "very happy with how it's going with North Korea".

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

"If Democrats take issue with a range of issues, the Trump administration could be distracted and lose its energy and time to efficiently focus on dealing with the North Korea issue".

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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.

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