WASHINGTON, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has refused to put a timeline on negotiations with North Korea, saying he will instead monitor progress toward the dismantlement of the regime's nuclear weapons program, CNN reported Monday.

Pompeo made the remark in a phone interview with the news channel Sunday as the two countries prepare to hold working-level talks to follow up on this month's historic summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.

"I am not going to put a timeline on it, whether that's two months, six months, we are committed to moving forward in an expeditious moment to see if we can achieve what both leaders set out to do," Pompeo said, referring to Kim's commitment to work toward the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula in return for security guarantees from the United States.

Pompeo told CNN he would "constantly reassess" progress in the negotiations to determine whether they should continue.

"We hope that we will have an ongoing process of making progress," he said.

The top U.S. diplomat previously set a goal of 2020 to achieve the North's denuclearization before the end of Trump's term.

Washington wants to see the nuclear program's complete, verifiable and irreversible dismantlement in as short a time as possible. But Pyongyang has insisted on a "phased and synchronous" process involving concessions from the U.S.

Source: Yonhap News Agency