U .S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and high-ranking North Korean official Kim Yong Chol enter a second day of meetings in New York on Thursday as they try to settle nuclear weapons disagreements and set the stage for an historic summit between their leaders.
The two men left a 90-minute private dinner at a New York apartment on Wednesday night without providing details about their conversation. Another round of talks is due on Thursday.
The United States has been demanding that North Korea abandon its nuclear weapons programme amid reports that it is close to being able to launch a nuclear-tipped missile capable of reaching the United States.
Pyongyang has long argued that it needed nuclear weapons for its security.
There were reports earlier on Wednesday that South Korean officials were noting “quite significant” differences between the United States and North Korea over denuclearization.
The New York meetings follow high-level conversations Pompeo held in North Korea in April and earlier in May and are intended to get negotiations between the two long-time adversaries back on track.
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jung Un had been scheduled to hold an unprecedented summit in Singapore on June 12. Disputes between Washington and Pyongyang led Trump to cancel the meeting, only to see a renewal of diplomatic efforts in recent days.
REUTERS May 31