Amid the apparent standstill in denuclearisation talks between North Korea and the United States, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday expressed hope that a second meeting between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un would take place early in the first half of 2019.
"We are hopeful that in the new year, President Trump and Chairman Kim will get together not too long after the first of the year and make even further progress on taking this threat to the United States away from us," Pompeo said in an interview with KNSS Radio.
Pompeo, who has travelled to the secretive communist country four times for a breakthrough in accomplishing the dismantling of North Korea's nuclear weapon programme, asserted that the situation "undoubtedly" improved and no more missiles were being tested.
"No more missiles being tested, no more nuclear testing. We're in a better place today," he remarked.
Last week, Trump said that the US is in "no hurry" to reach negotiations with North Korea, amid talks of denuclearising the Korean Peninsula.
"Many people have asked how we are doing in our negotiations with North Korea - I always reply by saying we are in no hurry, there is wonderful potential for great economic success for that country...." he had tweeted.
During the first-ever summit between Kim and Trump at Singapore in June this year, the two leaders had signed a joint statement agreeing to guarantee peaceful relations as well as the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
However, negotiations have gone off track since then owing to Pyongyang's apparent continuation of nuclear tests, putting a question mark over its commitment of giving up nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
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