Denuclearization deadlock as Pompeo's meeting with N. Koreans delayed

Denuclearization deadlock as Pompeo's meeting with N. Koreans delayed

Kim met South Korean President Moon Jae-in three times this year. "Sometime early next year", he said.

At that meeting, Kim, who is seeking relief from tough US -led sanctions, committed to work toward denuclearization, but his steps since have fallen short of USA demands for irreversible moves to abandon a weapons program that potentially threatens the United States.

News of the postponement came after North Korea's Foreign Ministry criticized the USA on Friday for its continued support of sanctions and hinted it may resume nuclear development.

"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 sanctions are on".

Pompeo himself revealed in a Sunday interview that he expected some "real progress" in talks with Kim, including "an effort to make sure that the summit between the two leaders can take place". That meeting, and Kim Yong-chol's subsequent visit with Trump at the White House, led the USA president to put the summit back on for June 12 in Singapore.

There are concerns that North Korea's push for such a declaration could be a ploy to divide the US-South Korea alliance and secure the withdrawal of the 28,500 US troops based in the South.

Yonhap said Ri had told the Vietnamese government that North Korea hoped to learn from Vietnam's model of development. A senior official at the Foreign Ministry in Seoul cautioned against reading too much into the decision to postpone the meeting.

"Schedules change all the time", he said.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (right) and Kim Yong-chol, North Korean senior ruling party official and former intelligence chief, arrive for a lunch at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang July 7, 2018.

Diplomatic sources told CBS News reporter Kylie Atwood as recently as Monday that senior State Department officials were still confident in the plans for Pompeo's now-delayed meeting in NY.

Some analysts believe this weakened state could impact Trump's foreign policy and test his North Korean diplomatic gambit.

However, the Trump administration's engagement with the North could come under tighter scrutiny by the Democrat-controlled House, experts say, given that it has subpoena power and control of key committees.

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.