U.S., N. Korea expected to reschedule high-level talks soon: envoy

November 14, 2018

WASHINGTON, Nov. 14 (Yonhap) — South Korea’s ambassador to the United States said Wednesday that he expects the U.S. and North Korea to soon reschedule last week’s canceled high-level talks.

The planned New York meeting between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yong-chol, was abruptly postponed due to what the U.S. called scheduling issues.

Ambassador Cho Yoon-je told reporters the U.S. views the cancellation as a “postponement” and is in talks with the North to reschedule the meeting.

“Both sides have a firm determination to continue the momentum for dialogue, so I expect them to set a new date soon,” he said. “The North Koreans informed (the U.S. of the postponement) in a polite tone, citing scheduling issues.”

Pompeo and Kim were expected to negotiate the details of a June summit agreement between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to pursue “complete” denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees from the U.S.

The North Koreans have increasingly called for sanctions relief, while the U.S. has insisted that denuclearization comes first.

A second summit between Trump and Kim was also on the agenda.

“President Trump and his aides have stated their intention to have it early next year, so I believe that will happen,” Cho said. “Our government will also work to help the two sides quickly resume their talks.”

The ambassador also said he doesn’t expect the Trump administration to change its North Korea policy after the opposition Democratic Party regained control of the U.S. House of Representatives last week.

“The Democratic Party has called for dialogue and a diplomatic solution with regard to North Korea and North Korea policy,” he noted.

This file photo shows South Korean Ambassador to the U.S. Cho Yoon-je. (Yonhap)

This file photo shows South Korean Ambassador to the U.S. Cho Yoon-je. (Yonhap)