U.S. diplomat Pompeo to meet N. Korea’s Kim Yong Chol in N.Y.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday he will meet with a close aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in New York late this week to spur negotiations for denuclearizing the country.

(Mike Pompeo and Kim Yong Chol meet in New York in May 2018) [U.S. State Department]

«I will be meeting this week in New York City with my counterpart, Kim Yong Chol,» he said on Fox News, adding that it will be «a good opportunity to continue the denuclearization discussions.» Kim is a vice chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea.

The announcement came after Pyongyang warned Friday of the possibility of a revival of its parallel policy of nuclear and economic development if the United States does not respond positively to its steps taken toward denuclearization.

But Pompeo dismissed the warning as «rhetoric» and reiterated that Washington will offer no relief on its sanctions on Pyongyang until full denuclearization is achieved.

«I’m not worried about rhetoric. We’ve seen this as we go through negotiations. Stray voltage happens to be all around us,» he said.

«We’re very focused. We know with whom we’re negotiating. We know what their positions are. And President (Donald) Trump’s made his position very clear: No economic relief until we have achieved our ultimate objective.»

Trump has said he plans to hold a second meeting with Kim Jong Un after the midterm elections, and that he was considering three or four possible locations for the event.

However, the two countries have been at odds over ways to get Pyongyang to give up its nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

North Korea has yet to take credible action to dismantle its weapons programs despite Kim pledging in a historic meeting with Trump in June in Singapore to work toward «complete» denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

All — Kyodo News+

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