US' Pompeo hopes for North Korea talks soon, no leaders' summit planned

Dunya News

Pompeo and N Korean FM had been expected to meet on the sidelines of Southeast Asia security foreign

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Monday he hoped working-level talks to revive denuclearization talks with North Korea could occur "very soon" but emphasized that a follow up leaders  summit was not planned.

"We hope that we can have working-level discussions very soon," Pompeo told an audience at The Economics Club of Washington D.C. a day before he travels to Asia.

Asked about the possibility of another summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, he added: "There is nothing in the works. There is nothing planned."

Pompeo and North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho had been expected to meet on the sidelines of a Southeast Asia security foreign in Bangkok this week.

While a diplomatic source told Reuters last week that Ri had canceled his trip to the conference, Pompeo appeared hopeful of a diplomatic way forward, despite North Korea test-firing two new short-range ballistic missiles on July 25. 

Pompeo will also travel to Australia and Micronesia from July 30 to Aug. 6.

A February summit in Vietnam between Trump and Kim collapsed after the two sides failed to reconcile differences between Washington s demands for Pyongyang s complete denuclearization and North Korean demands for sanctions relief.

Since their historic June 28 meeting in the Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas, Pyongyang has accused Washington of breaking a promise by planning to hold joint military exercises with South Korea in August and warned of a possible end to its freeze on nuclear and long-range missile tests.