WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said he had ordered US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to delay a planned trip to North Korea, citing insufficient progress on denuclearization on Friday
"I think China is helping" our much tougher trading attitude ".
The surprise announcement seemed to signal a concession by the president to national and international corporations that his earlier claims of world-changing progress on the peninsula were conspicuously premature.
"I asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea at the time, because I think we are not making enough progress on the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," Trump tweeted on Friday, barely two months after his meeting in June with Kim Jong Un from the north in Singapore.
Trump's comment followed a report issued Monday by the International Atomic Energy Agency expressing "great concern." on the nuclear program of the North. It came one day after Pompeo had appointed Stephen Biegun, a senior executive at Ford Motor Co., as his Special Envoy to North Korea and said he and Biegun would visit next week.
The State Department never confirmed the details of the voyage It was expected, however, that after several diplomatic sources familiar with the plan, Pompeo would spend at least a few hours in Pyongyang on Monday.
The White House officials did not want to explain what prompted Trump to cancel Pompeo's trip or what had changed
A senior White House official said that Trump would meet with Pompeo, Biegun, the Chief of the General Staff on Friday morning John Kelly and the police made the decision to cancel the visit to National Security Adviser John Bolton, who joined by phone. Intelligence and defense officials were not in the session, the official said, and seemed to indicate that the collapse was diplomatic. The official spoke about the condition of anonymity to describe the internal deliberations.
South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-hwa has spoken with Pompeo about Trump's decision to delay Pompeo's planned visit to North Korea because of insufficient progress in denuclearization.
Seoul's Foreign Ministry said late Friday that Pompeo explained the background to Kang's decision during the phone conversation. The ministry said Kang and Pompeo agreed that Washington and Seoul will work to maintain the momentum of dialogue in denuclearizing the Korean peninsula and stabilizing the peace.
The State Department did not immediately comment on the administrative decision and referred to questions The White House
Trump laid an indefinite debt on China, North Korea's leading trading partner, which is widely believed to have the strongest impact on Kim's government.
The US and China have been involved in a commercial dispute for months,
Trump tweeted, "Pompeo is looking forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our trading relationship with China is resolved." He added "In the meantime, I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim, and I look forward to seeing him soon!"
After more than a year of escalating tensions through nuclear and missile testing, new sanctions, and "fire and rage" rhetoric, Trump's story hit Kim earlier this year. In the run-up to the summit, both countries fiercely negotiated, with Trump publicly canceling the meeting to persuade Kim to agree to atomic concessions. During the summit, the two signed a vague joint statement in which the north had agreed to denuclearization, but left almost all the details undefined.
"There is no more nuclear threat from North Korea," Trump said after the meeting on Twitter
"Before assuming office, people assumed that we would go to war with North Korea, and President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem, "he added. "No more – sleep well tonight!"
Pompeo would have come back heavily from Pyongyang with somewhat similar progress on the de-nuclearization front.
Although it has halted nuclear and missile tests and taken some unrelated steps – dismantling of a rocket engine facility and returning the alleged remains of American soldiers killed during the Korean War – the nuclear weapons program and the development of ballistic missiles remain intact, such as the nuclear wardens and intelligence agencies of the United Nations.
North Korean officials have ruled out new concessions until they see a US mutual gesture beyond going over military exercises with South Korea. North Korea has demanded that the US alleviate or remove crippling sanctions – something that Pompeo and national security adviser John Bolton have smoothly ruled out until his nuclear program is completely and demonstrably dismantled.
Apart from sanctions, the North is supported South Korea, has sought an explanation for the end of the Korean War. The conflict ended with the signing of a ceasefire and not a peace treaty, which means that the war is not technically over. Both the North and the South have vowed to end the open state of hostilities, and Seoul had hoped to persuade the Trump government to sign a non-binding declaration at the end of the war as a gesture of goodwill, Kim Jong Un in
Pompeo and other administrators have proposed that some concessions be made prior to the verification of denuclearization before the sanctions have been relaxed or lifted, but have refused to specify what they could be. And they were skeptical of a declaration at the end of the war, because there was no progress on the nuclear issue.
At the same time, legislators from both parties, including the GOP Falcons, have generally supported Trump's concerns about how it could be used by the North to remove US troops from South Korea and possibly their concerns To demand Japan without consideration.
Trump had maintained the positive tone only on Tuesday at a campaign event in West Virginia. There, Trump claimed "we're fine with North Korea."
"There were no rocket launches, there were no rocket launches," he added.
At the same meeting, Trump also seemed to take a different tone. He said he had withheld some criticism of China because he wanted "to help and to have us with North Korea."
Associated Press author Darlene Superville contributed to this report.