Pompeo's meeting with Kim Yong-chol canceled abruptly

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Washington added that Stephen Biegun, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea, is also taking part in the talks.

Trump had been asked about the administration's announcement, in the middle of the night as Tuesday's midterm elections results were coming in, that Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's Thursday meeting with a key aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had been postponed.

Kim Eui-kyeom, the Blue House spokesman, said in a briefing Wednesday, "I don't believe that the postponement [of the high-level talks] means that the North-U.S. negotiations have become null or lost momentum or direction".

"The United States remains focused on the fulfilment of the commitments made by the president Trump and president Kim at the summit in Singapore in June".

This graphic image shows U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (R) meeting with Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party's Central Committee, in NY in May 2018.

Pompeo had been due to hold talks with senior DPRK official Kim Yong-chol, which were hoped to have opened the way for a second summit of the two countries' leaders and make progress on denuclearization.

The outcome of the United States midterm elections is unlikely to change the course of Washington's North Korea policy but could slow the pace of the Donald Trump administration's diplomacy with North Korea, experts said Wednesday.

Pompeo had been due to hold talks in NY on Thursday with senior North Korean official Kim Yong Chol aimed at paving the way for a second summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un and at making progress on denuclearization.

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The two sides are also expected to continue planning for a second summit between Trump and Kim early next year. But we're not in any rush at all.

Last week, the North's foreign ministry threatened to return to Pyongyang's former policy of "byeongjin", which calls for simultaneously developing its nuclear program and economy, if the USA did not start lifting sanctions.

South Korea's foreign ministry said the meeting delay was "regrettable" but insisted that "excessively pessimistic interpretation was unnecessary".

The latest NY meeting was set to come ahead of a busy season of diplomacy, with Pompeo meeting senior Chinese officials in Washington on Friday.

At the beginning of July, the american secretary of State was thus returned empty-handed from a visit to North Korea, and the end of August, Donald Trump had cancelled at the last minute another planned trip of the minister to Pyongyang, recognizing for the first time the absence of sufficient progress.

While both the US and South Korea all want peace and stability in the Korea peninsula, there is a "fear" that fast-developing inter-Korean relations may get out of step with Washington, according to former USA officials and experts.

But experts say North Korea's moves so far are largely cosmetic and easily reversible.