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South Korean minister: US says N Korea cancelled meeting

AP  |  Seoul 

South Korea's said Thursday that US. officials told that it was that cancelled nuclear talks this week between US and a senior North Korean

provided no reason, aside from "busy schedules," for why cancelled the meeting set for Thursday in that was meant to discuss ridding the North of its nuclear weapons and setting up a second summit between US and North Korean leader

But some analysts say a last-minute cancellation a familiar North Korean tactic could be aimed at pressuring the to agree to a quick Trump-Kim summit because the North thinks it can win major concessions from Trump that lower-level US officials might try to block.

The US has recently appeared to be slowing the pace of diplomacy with amid signs that Kim is lagging behind in his supposed promise to denuclearise.

Before this week's cancellation, Trump said he wouldn't play a "time game" with the North over a denuclearisation deal, while his national security director, John Bolton, said a second Kim-Trump summit won't happen until 2019.

North Korea has yet to comment on the cancellation.

Trump and Kim held a highly choreographed summit in June in Singapore, where they announced aspirational goals for a nuclear-free without describing how and when it would occur.

But North Korea has since insisted that US-led sanctions against it should be lifted before there will be any progress in nuclear negotiations.

This has fuelled doubts about whether Kim will ever deal away a nuclear program he may see as his strongest guarantee of survival.

says the sanctions will remain until North Korea takes concrete steps toward irreversibly and verifiably relinquishing its nuclear weapons.

Many officials in the want to take time in setting up a summit because they're trying to get something more substantial after widespread criticism that Trump made large concessions to Kim in the first summit without getting much in return, said Park Hyeong-jung, an from the for National Unification in

This would require that the US and North Korea hammer out details in lower-level talks about what can be exchanged at the next summit, but the cancellation of the meeting between Pompeo and indicates that the two sides remain far apart, Park said.

Kang told lawmakers she planned to discuss the matter with Pompeo over the phone.

South Korea's presidential office earlier said that the meeting's postponement wouldn't affect the momentum of talks between the US and North Korea.

"We were notified by the that North Korea explained that (the meeting) should be postponed because both sides have busy schedules," Kang said.

"I think it would be excessive to read too much into the postponement of the meeting."

Trump told reporters at the that the is "in no rush" and that the meeting between Pompeo and would be rescheduled.

said the postponement was "purely a scheduling issue" but refused to elaborate.

He did not provide a straightforward answer when asked whether the discord over sanctions has made it more difficult to set up meetings.

"Timing, timing," Palladino said.

"This has to do with timing as a matter we're talking about scheduling. And I'll leave it at that."

has worked hard to revive nuclear diplomacy between the US and North Korea that has reduced war fears among South Koreans following a provocative run in North Korean weapons tests and Trump's threats of military action last year.

shifted to diplomacy early this year and has held three summits with South Korean Moon Jae-in.

last week criticised the United States for its continued support of sanctions and hinted it may resume nuclear development if the measures aren't lifted.

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

First Published: Thu, November 08 2018. 14:40 IST