President Trump has announced the cancellation of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s diplomatic trip to North Korea, citing a lack of progress in ongoing denuclearization negotiations.
“I have asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” Trump tweeted on Friday. “Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved.”
The cancellation comes just one day after Pompeo announced plans to return to North Korea next week to continue negotiating toward the ultimate denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. Trump cited a lack of Chinese cooperation in explaining why the highly touted denuclearization talks have stagnated.
“Because of our much tougher Trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were (despite the UN Sanctions which are in place),” Trump tweeted.
American and North Korean officials have engaged in negotiations since Trump’s June summit with Kim Jong-un, which produced a joint denuclearization pledge lacking in details and a timeline for achieving the desired outcome.
Since denuclearization negotiations began with the promise of Chinese assistance, the Trump administration has ramped up its trade war with Beijing, implementing an escalating series of tariffs.
The latest protectionist measure, a 25 percent tariff on $16 billion in Chinese goods, went into effect on Friday. Beijing immediately responded with a 25 percent tariff on an equal amount of American imports, including petroleum, diesel fuel, and other industrial goods.
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