Washington: US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on Wednesday hoped that denuclearisation talks between his country and North Korea will resume in the coming weeks.
“We are hopeful that in the coming weeks we will get back to the negotiating table,” Pompeo said at a joint presser with his British counterpart Dominic Raab, Yonhap News Agency reported.
“We are planning for negotiations in a couple of weeks and we anticipate the two teams getting back together,” he added.
His comments came after North Korea on Tuesday launched recently testfired two projectiles into the East Sea as a mark of protest against the joint military drills between South Korea and the US, which is currently underway.
The latest tests were the fourth such launch in less than two weeks.
After the launch, North Korea issued a statement criticising the ongoing military exercise as a violation of peace deals signed by the communist country with the US and South Korea. Pyongyang warned that it could seek a “new road” if such “hostile military moves” continued.
Reacting to the launch, Pompeo said, “We are mindful that when we came in, there was nuclear testing taking place that has not occurred. There aren’t long-range missiles being fired. Those are both good things.”
“Now the task is for us to deliver on what the two leaders agreed to back in June of last year in Singapore,” he said while referring to the first meeting between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Trump and Kim held an impromptu meeting at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) in June. The two leaders agreed to resume working-level talks aimed at getting Pyongyang to give up developing its nuclear weapon programme.
However, experts have said that the talks are unlikely to resume till the completion of the South Korea-US military drills later this month.
Trump recently played down North Korea’s missile launches since his failed summit with Kim in Hanoi in February, saying they were of short-range devices and not the intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuclear bombs, the North Korean leader has promised not to test.