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The U.S. State Department says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Kim Yong-chol, the head of Pyeongyang's intelligence agency, will meet in NY on Thursday to discuss denuclearization and the implementation of the June 12th summit declaration.

She did not specify why the talks had been canceled or if they had been rescheduled, only saying, "We will reconvene when our respective schedules permit".

Pompeo described the planned second meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and DPRK top leader Kim Jong Un as a chance of making a "substantial breakthrough" in the denuclearization on the Korean peninsula.

While U.S. and South Korean officials had expressed hope the talks could make some progress - including laying the groundwork for a second Trump-Kim meeting - North Korea has in recent weeks stepped up calls for sanctions relief.

He said Dunford only meant that "the Defense Department is in support of the State Department when it comes to the ongoing diplomatic negotiations with North Korea".

China is prioritizing a trade zone bordering North Korea in possible preparation for increased commerce between the two countries, according to a South Korean press report.

FILE - Journalists look around the third tunnel of Punggye-ri nuclear test ground before it is blown up during the dismantlement process in Punggye-ri, North Hamgyong Province, North Korea, May 24, 2018.

"The United States remains focused on fulfilling the commitments agreed to by President Trump and Chairman Kim at the Singapore summit in June", Nauert said in Wednesday's statement.

Over the weekend, North Korea criticized the United States for its continued support of sanctions and hinted it may resume nuclear development.

United States and foreign sources close to the talks paint a picture that's starkly different from the image President Donald Trump sought to convey Wednesday, when he told reporters the administration is "very happy with how it's going with North Korea".

"I would love to take the sanctions off, but they have to be responsive too".

While Republicans maintained control of the Senate, the Democrats now have the opportunity to block Trump's agenda and open his administration to intense scrutiny. "There's no rush whatsoever", Trump told reporters at the White House.

Atwood also noted that North Korea's state-run news agency KCNA has recently put out aggressive messages saying the Kim regime only suspended its nuclear testing with the expectation that the US would begin easing sanctions.

The State Department had been touting an agreement signed by Pompeo during the last U.S.

"We made more progress in that four or five months (since the summit) than they have made in 70 years", he said, referring to previous U.S. leaders.

North Korea has for years pursued nuclear and missile programs in defiance of U.N. Security Council resolutions but the bellicose rhetoric from both Pyongyang and Trump that raised fears of war has eased this year.