President Donald Trump on Friday stated that he asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to cancel his planned visit to North Korea. Trump also accused Pyongyang of slow-walking efforts to dismantle its nuclear program.
Trump tweeted that a high-level visit is not appropriate at “this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
According to CNN, Pompeo was scheduled to make his fourth visit to North Korea next week to follow up on a framework agreement Trump reached with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
This decision marks the first time that Trump admitted that North Korea’s denuclearization is not going as well as hoped.
Trump proclaimed after his meeting in Singapore with Kim in mid-June that North Korea is “no longer a nuclear threat.”
Shortly after announcing his decision on Friday, Trump also accused China of not “helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were,” pointing to “our much tougher Trading stance” with the nation as the cause of the rift.
The Treasury Department on Wednesday targeted a Chinese shipping firm and its Singapore-based affiliate for violating financial sanctions meant to cut off foreign aid to North Korea’s economy.
“Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved. In the meantime, I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon!” Trump wrote Friday.
Bolton said earlier this month that North Korea “has not taken the steps we feel are necessary to denuclearize.”
Last month when the Senate Foreign Relations Committee questioned Pompeo about North Korea, he confirmed that North Korea is still producing the material necessary to make nuclear bombs.
“We’re engaged in patient diplomacy,” he said. “But we will not let this drag out to no end. … President Trump remains upbeat about the prospects for North Korean denuclearization. Progress is happening.”