United States abruptly postpones high-level talks with North Korea

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Pompeo said in an interview with CBS Sunday that he expects to make "some real progress" when he meets with his counterpart, including on the potential summit, "where we can make substantial steps towards denuclearization".

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".

There's been little diplomatic progress in the five months since the June summit in Singapore where the USA and North Korean leaders committed to "denuclearization" of the divided Korean Peninsula.

Last week, the North's foreign ministry threatened to return to Pyongyang's former policy of "byeongjin", which calls for simultaneously developing its nuclear program and economy, if the USA did not start lifting sanctions. "Ongoing conversations continue to take place".

"What remains to be done is the U.S. corresponding reply", it added.

The outcome of the United States midterm elections is unlikely to change the course of Washington's North Korea policy but could slow the pace of the Donald Trump administration's diplomacy with North Korea, experts said Wednesday.

But Yang Moo-jin, a professor at the University of North Korean Studies in Seoul, said that the postponement was a bad sign.

North Korea has increasingly called for sanctions relief in return for its denuclearization steps, but the United States has refused to comply until the full and verified denuclearization of the regime.

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The two sides are also expected to continue planning for a second summit between Trump and Kim early next year. North Korea's propaganda services have not mentioned the meeting. North Korea's Foreign Ministry said the US President Donald Trump's administration had failed to understand its repeated demand.

The first-ever DPRK-U.S. summit was held in Singapore on June 12.

A senior South Korean foreign ministry official said that although the rescheduling was regrettable, there was no need to " overthink the postponement", according to Yonhap news agency on Wednesday.

"I think we have to look at it as a part of the process of reaching complete denuclearization and setting up a peace regime", the unnamed official told reporters.

Pompeo was supposed to travel to NY on Thursday to meet with his North Korean counterpart, Kim Yong Chol. "When the North Koreans are seemingly opening the door, then those differences in priorities and perspective can create tensions".

On Aug. 23, Pompeo announced a trip to Pyongyang with his new special envoy for North Korea, Biegun, which Trump canceled the next day over Twitter, blaming a lack of "sufficient progress" in denuclearization, and also alluding to the trade war with China.

Trump heads over the next month to worldwide gatherings in Paris and Buenos Aires, while Vice President Mike Pence will tour Asia.