Trump expects Kim summit early next year despite Pompeo postponement

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks to reporters during a news briefing at the State Department in Washington

Tensions between the US and North Korea that spiked last year when Trump and Kim were trading insults and dire threats have ebbed this year, but the North has not taken irreversible steps to give up the nukes it spent decades making and which it views as key to its security.

Nauert said the U.S. remained focussed on fulfilling the commitments agreed to by President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the Singapore summit in June, reported The Washington Post.

The Russian permanent mission to the United Nations has asked for closed consultations on sanctions against North Korea to be held by the United Nations Security Council (UNSC) on Thursday, the mission's spokesman, Fyodor Strzhizhovsky, told Sputnik.

Pompeo and Kim Yong-chol, a close aide to the North Korean leader, were expected to continue talks on dismantling the regime's nuclear weapons program and arranging a second summit between the leader and Trump.

North Korea has demanded that the United States end its tough economic sanctions now that it is negotiating with Trump over its nuclear program.

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.

Seoul's Foreign Ministry also expressed hope that the US and North Korea can quickly reschedule a high-level meeting.

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The State Department provided no explanation for the meeting's postponement. We think it's going fine.

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 allies have already suspended most of their major joint exercises since the first US-North Korea summit in Singapore in June. That effort has stalled, with North Korea refusing to declare the details of its nuclear capabilities or, so far, allow worldwide inspectors into the country to verify claims that is has dismantled certain sites.

"We made more progress in that four or five months (since the summit) than they have made in 70 years", he said, referring to previous USA leaders.

The U.S. on Wednesday denied that it plans to reduce its military presence in South Korea after remarks from its top military officer sent alarm bells ringing.

"You could have a situation that South Korea and North Korea come to some kind of agreement and then suddenly there's an expectation that we would fall into line with that we would be willing to put scarce budget dollars into helping North Korea economically, you know, without having laid the groundwork or gotten enough concessions to make that possible", Kenney said at an Asia Society event that discussed USA policy toward Asia after the midterm elections.

"The immediate priorities of reconciliation, family visit, and potential for infrastructure and trade between North and South [Korea] look a lot different from Seoul and from Washington as does the global non-proliferation agenda", he added.

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