Russia Requests Closed UNSC Meeting on N Korea to Be Held Thursday

Clay Curtis
November 8, 2018

Tensions between the USA and North Korea that spiked last year when Trump and Kim were trading insults and dire threats have ebbed this year, but the North has not taken irreversible steps to give up the nukes it spent decades making and which it views as key to its security.

Presidential spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom also said that the delay doesn't mean cancellation and would not affect the drive for talks between the United States and North Korea.

Remarks about the Korean Peninsula by a top U.S. military officer have sparked debate over the future of the 28,500 American troops stationed in South Korea.

FILE - Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, right, and Kim Yong Chol, a North Korean senior ruling party official, arrive for a lunch at the Park Hwa Guest House in Pyongyang, North Korea, July 7, 2018.

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

"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.

Democrats have said they are determined to obtain more information about meetings between Trump and Pompeo and Kim, anxious that Trump is so eager to make a "great deal" that he will give Kim too much with little in return. We think it's going fine.

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The talks between President Donald Trump's top diplomat and the North Korean delegation, which had been due on Thursday, "will now take place at a later date", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

Asked if he still plans to have the second summit, the U.S. president said, "Sometime next year, I would say.

-North Korea relation and ways for permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula", as agreed by their leaders at the Singapore Summit in June.

But the growing divide between the USA and South Korea also has many concerned, as liberal President Moon Jae-in pushes for closer Korean ties including demilitarizing the border and increasing economic cooperation.

To that end, the US and South Korea announced last week the creation of a new working group to "strengthen our close coordination", including on "sanctions implementation and inter-Korean cooperation that comply with the United Nations sanctions", according to State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino. Some have questioned whether US Forces Korea would consider withdrawing if North Korea made substantial progress on denuclearization. That effort has stalled, with North Korea refusing to declare the details of its nuclear capabilities or, so far, allow worldwide inspectors into the country to verify claims that is has dismantled certain sites.

Pompeo, speaking Sunday on Fox News, said he was "not worried" about the North Korean demands and insisted there would be "no economic relief until we have achieved our ultimate objective". "When the North Koreans are seemingly opening the door, then those differences in priorities and perspective can create tensions".

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