U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he had cancelled a planned trip to North Korea by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, saying progress toward the U.S. goal of a denuclearization of the Korean peninsula was too slow.
“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 said on Twitter.
Pompeo was supposed to head to North Korea this weekend.
“Additionally, because of out much tougher Trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were … Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved,” Trump tweeted.
“In the meantime I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim. I look forward to seeing him soon!”
The announcement comes days after the UN nuclear watchdog said it did not find any indication that North Korea had stopped its nuclear activities, adding to doubts about the country’s willingness to abandon its arsenal.
“The continuation and further development of the DPRK’s nuclear program and related statements by the DPRK are a cause for grave concern,” the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) said in a report published late on Monday.
Trump said in an interview with Reuters on Monday he believed North Korea had taken specific steps toward denuclearization and that he would “most likely” meet again with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump held a landmark summit with Kim on June 12, at which the North Korean leader agreed in broad terms to work toward denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.