Washington: US Vice President Mike Pence on Wednesday said that North Korea is yet to take “concrete steps” to dismantle its nuclear weapons programme in order to fulfill its commitment of achieving denuclearisation.
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has repeatedly stated that his government is committed to fulfilling its promise and said the same even during his maiden meeting with US President Donald Trump in Singapore last June.
“While the president has started a promising dialogue with Chairman Kim, we still await concrete steps by North Korea to dismantle the nuclear weapons that threaten our people and our allies in the region,” Pence was quoted by Yonhap News Agency as saying while briefing US chiefs of overseas diplomatic missions.
The comments by Pence comes as Kim Yong Chol, North Korea’s lead negotiator in nuclear talks with the US, is expected to visit Washington DC on Thursday evening.
He will be spending Thursday night in Washington, following which he is slated to meet the US Secretary of State Michael Pompeo and US special representative to North Korea Stephen Biegun on Friday, CNN reported while quoting sources.
The exact details and dates pertaining to the North Korean negotiator’s visit have not been officially confirmed yet. The dates and venue of the second US-North Korea summit may be discussed during Kim Yong Chol’s expected visit to the US.
Even though engagements between Washington and Pyongyang reached new heights in 2018 with the unprecedented first meeting between Trump and Kim, the last few months of the year saw a stalemate in relations.
North Korea, on the one hand, has asked for corresponding measures by the US for its efforts towards denuclearisation. The US, on the other hand, has pushed for complete denuclearisation before a relaxation in sanctions.