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Donald Trump has directed the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to delay a planned trip to North Korea

Trump orders Pompeo to delay nuclear North Korea talks due to lack of progress

‘I do not feel we are making sufficient progress’
Trump suggests US-China trade dispute may be to blame, Guardian,  Martin Pengelly, 24 Aug 18,  Donald Trump has directed the secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, to delay a planned trip to North Korea, the president tweeted on Friday, “because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula”.

Trump met Kim Jong-un in Singapore in June, after months of abuse and threats between the two leaders and the US-led imposition of tough sanctions against Pyongyang.

Trump claimed the Singapore summit was a success, after he signed a joint statement which said in part: “President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.”

North Korea has returned to the US remains of soldiers killed in the Korean war, which was fought between 1950 and 1953 and has never formally ended. But critics have said the Singapore statement achieved nothing concrete and progress has been slow.

On Friday, at the end of a week in which the International Atomic Energy Agency said North Korea was still developing nuclear weapons, Trump made a striking U-turn.

Some of the blame rested with China, he said, “because of our much tougher Trading stance”.

Trump’s imposition of tariffs on steel and other imports has touched off an intensifying trade war with Beijing.

Trump added: “I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were (despite the UN Sanctions which are in place).

“Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved.”

Pompeo, formerly CIA director, has played a leading role in talks with North Korea, meeting Kim twice on three visits to Pyongyang. On Thursday, he appointed a senior Ford executive, Steven Biegun, to be his special envoy. The two men would visit the country next week, Pompeo said.

A senior White House official told Reuters Trump asked Pompeo not to go to North Korea during a meeting at the White House on Friday afternoon.

Trump tweeted: “I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon!”

In response, Kelly Magsamen, vice-president for national security and international policy at the Center for American Progress and a former Pentagon and White House adviser on Asia, tweeted that Trump was “undermining his own leverage again. Not to mention his [secretary of state] and new envoy”.

“It’s fine to not send the secretary due to lack of progress,” she wrote, “but don’t then also talk about how you are eager to meet with [Kim] and how China is thwarting you.”

Trump left the White House on Friday for Ohio, where he was due to visit a hospital and speak at a Republican dinner. He did not respond to shouted questions about North Korea.

August 25, 2018 - Posted by | North Korea, politics international, USA

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