Washington: US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday he will meet this week in New York with North Korea’s number two, Kim Yong Chol, to resume denuclearization talks.
Announcing the meeting on Fox News Sunday, Pompeo said it would be “a good opportunity to continue the denuclearization discussions” underway since US President Donald Trump’s historic summit in June with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Pompeo’s announcement follows a North Korean foreign ministry statement that the North will “seriously” consider reviving its nuclear weapons program unless US sanctions are lifted.
But Pompeo dismissed the warning, saying, “I’m not worried about that.”
“We are very focused. We know with whom we are negotiating, we know what their positions (are) and President Trump has made his position very clear,” Pompeo said.
He added there would be “no economic relief until we have achieved our ultimate objective.”
At their summit in Singapore in June, Trump and Kim signed a vaguely worded statement on denuclearization.
But little progress has been made since then, with Washington pushing to maintain sanctions against the North until its “final, fully verified denuclearization,” and Pyongyang condemning US demands as “gangster-like.”
“The improvement of relations and sanctions are incompatible,” said the statement, released under the name of the director of the foreign ministry’s Institute for American Studies.
“What remains to be done is the US corresponding reply,” it added.