President Trump said today that he expects his second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will take place “sometime early next year.” Trump’s remarks came as his administration postponed a Thursday meeting between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and a top North Korean official.
Pompeo’s meeting with Kim Yong Chol, the former head of North Korea’s spy agency who has been leading nuclear talks for North Korea, has been rescheduled and will now take place at an unspecified “later date,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement released late Wednesday.
North Korea is now seeking sanctions relief as a bargaining chip in giving up its nuclear weapons, but Pompeo over the weekend said that the United States would not lift sanctions until it could verify that the isolated nation had halted its missile and nuclear programs.
“We’re very happy how it’s going with North Korea. We think it’s going fine,” Trump told reporters at a post-election press conference. “The missiles have stopped, the rockets have stopped. …. I’d love to take the sanctions off, but they [North Korea] have to be responsive, too. It’s a two-way street. But we’re not in any rush at all. There’s no rush whatsoever,” Trump said.