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Pompeo likely to meet N.K. counterpart in New York next week: sources

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will likely meet with his North Korean counterpart in New York next week to continue discussions on a potential second summit between their leaders, sources said on Oct. 30, 2018.

The high-level talks are being planned for around Nov. 9 after the U.S. midterm elections and ahead of U.S. President Donald Trump's trip to France, according to multiple diplomatic sources in Washington and Seoul.

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 New York in May 2018.

It's still unclear who the North Korean official would be, but the sources said Kim Yong-chol, a top aide to Kim Jong-un, appears most likely.

Pompeo and Kim Yong-chol met in New York in May after Trump called off a planned summit with the North Korean leader.

That meeting and Kim Yong-chol's subsequent visit with Trump at the White House led the U.S. president to put the summit back on for June 12 in Singapore.

Pompeo said in an Oct. 19 interview with the Voice of America that he hoped to have talks with his North Korean counterpart "in the next week and a half or so" to continue discussions on the North's denuclearization and the potential second summit.

"At the time of Secretary Pompeo's remarks, (the meeting) was being planned for the end of October, but I understand that it was delayed by a couple days due to circumstances on the U.S. side," one source with knowledge of U.S.-North Korea negotiations said on Oct. 29, 2018.

Trump earlier said he expects to meet Kim Jong-un after the midterm elections in one of three or four locations.

According to U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, the summit will likely happen early next year.

At the first summit, Kim committed to work toward "complete" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees from the U.S.

The deal's implementation has stalled as the U.S. demands verifiable steps toward denuclearization and the North an easing of sanctions against the regime.

On the table will likely be ways to realize North Korea's stated commitment to denuclearize, including Kim Jong-un's invitation of international inspectors to the nuclear testing site in Punggye-ri, the sources said.

Kim has also committed to dismantle a missile engine testing site and, in return for "corresponding" measures from the U.S., shut down the main nuclear complex in Yongbyon. (Yonhap)

Kim Sua  edt@koeapost.com

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