US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang in April. Pyongyang said on Friday that it was 'sceptical' about whether it could negotiate with Pompeo. Photo: AFP/US Government

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Sunday he will meet this week with North Korea’s number two in New York to discuss denuclearization and a possible second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

“I expect we’ll make some real progress, including an effort to make sure that the summit between our two leaders can take place where we can make substantial steps toward denuclearization,” Pompeo said on the US TV program Face the Nation.

Pompeo’s meeting with Kim Yong Chol later this week comes with the two sides at an impasse over five months after a historic summit in June in which the two leaders pledged to work toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

North Korea’s Foreign Ministry warned earlier in the week that Pyongyang will “seriously” consider reactivating its nuclear weapons program unless US sanctions are lifted.

Pompeo dismissed the statement, telling Fox News Sunday, “I’m not worried about that. We are very focused. We know with whom we are negotiating, we know what their positions [are] and President Trump has made his position very clear.”

He added that there would be “no economic relief until we have achieved our ultimate objective.”

– With reporting from Agence France-Presse

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