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According to Reuters, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated on Wednesday that achieving a denuclearization deal with North Korea could take some time.

Key quotes

“Speaking at a cabinet meeting chaired by U.S. President Donald Trump, Pompeo, who held inconclusive talks in North Korea earlier this month, said progress had been made on some issues.  “There’s a lot of work to do. It may take some time to get where we need to go. But all of this will be taking place against the backdrop of continued enforcement of existing sanctions,” he said.  Pompeo said North Korea had reaffirmed its commitment to give up its nuclear weapons and that progress had been made on arranging the return of remains of U.S. soldiers killed in the 1950-53 Korean War.

Pompeo said that while more work was needed, it was “a very hopeful place that we find ourselves with, making a strategic change for North Korea, giving them the opportunity for a brighter future for their people.”  Pompeo traveled to North Korea this month hoping to agree a roadmap for denuclearization, but any progress has appeared limited, and Pyongyang issued an angry statement as soon as he left, accusing his delegation of making “gangster-like” demands.

The U.S. administration has given no indication as to when dialogue on denuclearization might resume and has appeared to back away from trying to set a timeline for the process.