UPDATE : 2019.8.23 FRI 09:54
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U.S. refuses to say if in contact with N. Korea after summit breakdown

The United States refused to say on Mar. 5, 2019 whether it has been in contact with North Korea since their summit ended without an agreement last week.

State Department deputy spokesperson Robert Palladino said the U.S. remains "in regular contact" with the North, but declined to go into detail.

This photo, released by North Korea's Korean Central News Agency, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (left) and U.S. President Donald Trump meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Feb. 28, 2019.

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held their second summit in Hanoi on Feb. 27 and Feb. 28 but failed to reach an agreement on dismantling the regime's nuclear weapons program.

"I'm not going to go into private diplomatic channels, but we remain, I would say as a general principle, we remain in contact with the North Koreans and progress was made at the Hanoi summit," Palladino said during a regular press briefing.

"Yes, we did not reach an agreement, but at the same time we were able to exchange very detailed positions and that has narrowed the gap on a number of issues and we've also made clear where the United States and the world stand regarding denuclearization," he said.

Both sides cited sanctions as the issue, although they remain apart over the extent of sanctions relief North Korea requested in exchange for its denuclearization.

No further meetings have been planned yet.

On Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's recent comment that he is hopeful about sending a team to Pyongyang in the coming weeks, the spokesperson said he has no trips to announce.

"We want to move this forward. Absolutely," he said. "But I've got nothing to announce today and the secretary is expressing where we want to go. We think we made progress in Hanoi and we're going to operate from that."

U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun and his South Korean counterpart, Lee Do-hoon, plan to hold talks in Washington on Mar. 6, 2019 to discuss the next steps. (Yonhap)

Son Da-som  edt@koreapost.com

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