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Seoul says N Korea asked to delay Pompeo talks: Report

AFP  |  Seoul 

asked the to delay planned high-level talks in this week, Seoul's top said Thursday, a day after abruptly announced the meeting's

The said Wednesday that the encounter between and top North Korean Kim Yong Chol, initially scheduled for Thursday, had been shelved for "a later date".

No further explanation was given, but is demanding sanctions imposed on it over its weapons programmes are eased, while insists they should stay in place until it denuclearises.

South Korean said it was that had asked for a delay.

"The US told us that it received a message from the North to postpone the meeting," Kang told lawmakers, according to agency.

South Korean reports said that Kim -- one of North Korean leader Un's right-hand men -- had been scheduled to catch a lunchtime flight from to on Wednesday.

But his reservation was repeatedly cancelled and rebooked on Tuesday, newspaper reported, until it was cancelled for good.

The sudden came only two days after the announced Pompeo would meet the North Korean in to discuss progress towards denuclearisation and plans for a second summit between and leader Un.

Trump and Kim held a historic summit in June in -- the first ever between the two countries -- where they signed a vaguely worded deal on denuclearisation.

Little progress has been made since then, with the two countries sparring over the exact meaning of the agreement.

Despite warm words from Trump since meeting Kim in Singapore, his administration has insisted on maintaining pressure on until a final agreement is reached.

North Korea, which is subject to multiple sanctions over its weapons programmes, warned last week that it would "seriously" consider returning to nuclear weapons development unless lifts the restrictions.

of the said that the differences over sanctions were probably the "biggest reason" for the

"Un needs a visible outcome that can be felt by the ordinary people, and for that, desperately needs sanctions to be lifted," Koo told AFP.

"If there was a problem, it's possible there was a clash between Pyongyang's demand for sanctions to be relaxed even by a little bit and Washington's firm stance that the restrictions will remain," he added.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Thu, November 08 2018. 11:35 IST