U.S. top diplomat Pompeo's meeting with DPRK officials postponed - USA

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

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

The June meeting of President Donald Trump and DPRK top leader Kim Jong-un in Singapore was the first summit meeting of an incumbent USA president and a DPRK leader.

"We think it's going fine", Trump said. "I'd love to take the sanctions off, but they (North Korea) have to be responsive, too", Trump said on Wednesday.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's Thursday meeting with a key aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has been postponed, the State Department said, a potential setback in the seemingly stalled talks between Washington and Pyongyang.

Similarly, Trump, through a public letter on May 24, canceled his first summit with Kim Jong-un, which was in the works for June 12 in Singapore, blaming "open hostility" in Pyongyang's rhetoric.

"We are going to make it another day", he said.

The exact reason for the postponement was unclear.

"We're in a pretty good place right now".

"There have been cases in the past when US-North Korea talks were delayed, so there is no need to shift between hope and fear", a senior ministry official told reporters.

The U.S. State Department earlier said that 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.

Trump has cast North Korea as a crowning diplomatic achievement and is eager for a fresh summit with Kim at which the two may formally declare an end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

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DPRK stands for North Korea's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

On Friday, an official with North Korea's Foreign Ministry threatened that if USA does not ease sanctions, that Pyongyang could restart "building up nuclear forces".

The development comes amid strained ties between South Korea and the USA over how to negotiate denuclearisation with North Korea.

In their talks, Kim repeatedly cited Vietnam's successes, South Korean media reported.

South Korea's presidential office said the government would later announce its stance over the postponed meeting, but South Korean news agency Yonhap said South Korean officials were notified by the USA of the postponement before it was announced in Washington.

"Keeping these things in sync is always a challenge", said former Assistant Secretary of State for East Asia and Pacific Affairs Danny Russel.

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

Pompeo said earlier that he plans to discuss with his counterpart the North Korean leader's promise to allow global inspectors into the nuclear testing site in Punggye-ri and the missile engine testing site in Dongchang-ri to verify their dismantlement.

He added that Seoul "looks forward to the talks being rescheduled at an early date".

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