Mike Pompeo optimistic talks with North Korea can resume within weeks

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed that the United States remained focused on long-range missile testing and nuclear testing.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stressed that the United States remained focused on long-range missile testing and nuclear testing.PHOTO: AP

WASHINGTON (DPA) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was hopeful that working group-level talks with North Korea can be restarted within weeks, as he downplayed the latest rocket tests.

"We are planning for negotiations in a couple of weeks," Mr Pompeo said in Washington.

He stressed that the United States remained focused on long-range missile testing and nuclear testing.

North Korea fired what were believed to be two short-range ballistic missiles early on Tuesday (Aug 6) from South Hwanghae Province. According to South Korea's military, the projectiles flew around 450km before landing in the East Sea, also known as the Sea of Japan.

North Korea said the latest missile launches were "an adequate warning" to US and South Korean authorities in response to ongoing joint military exercises.

US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met in June in the Demilitarised Zone between the two Koreas and agreed to restart talks.

That meeting came after a second summit between the leaders in Hanoi in February failed to yield a deal on North Korea's nuclear disarmament and the reduction of sanctions.

 

UN resolutions prohibit North Korea from launching ballistic missiles, whether short, medium or long range.