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State Department says US officials will meet with their North Korean counterparts next week
Dong-A Ilbo via Getty Images/Getty Images

State Department says US officials will meet with their North Korean counterparts next week

This could be the first step to eventually having another summit between Kim Jong Un and President Trump

The U.S. State Department has announced that U.S. officials will resume meetings with officials from North Korea, after initial talks broke down. The U.S. has been trying to get North Korea to agree to denuclearize.

What's the background?

After a promising first summit, President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un's second summit broke down in February after Kim demanded an end to all U.S. sections against North Korea.

"It was all about the sanctions," Trump explained. "They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn't do that. They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn't give up all of the sanctions for that."

"Sometimes you have to walk and this was one of those times," he added.

While he did not remove all existing sanctions like Kim wanted, Trump did order the U.S. Treasury Department in late March not to implement planned additional sanctions.

What did the State Department say now?

"I can confirm that U.S. and (Democratic People's Republic of Korea) officials plan to meet within the next week. I do not have further details to share on the meeting," U.S. State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement, according to CNN.

This comes less than a week after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the United Nations General Assembly that while "our team is prepared to meet with them, I think it's important that we do," they had "not been able to make those [working level meetings] happen and we don't have a date yet when we will be able to get together."

North Korea placed the blame for the poor relationship squarely on the United States, telling the U.N. that "it depends on the U.S. whether the DPRK-US negotiations will become a window of opportunity or an occasion that will hasten the crisis."

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