Trump Cancels Pompeo Trip to North Korea, Citing Lack of ‘Sufficient Progress’ on Denuclearization

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets U.S. President Donald Trump
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets U.S. President Donald Trump / Getty Images
• August 24, 2018 1:57 pm


President Donald Trump announced Friday he had canceled Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's upcoming trip to North Korea due to a lack of "sufficient progress" in denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.

Pompeo had been scheduled to travel to Pyongyang next week alongside special envoy Stephen Biegun for further nuclear talks. The United Nations nuclear watchdog reported this week that North Korea, despite promises to the contrary, has continued to develop its nuclear program since Trump's historic summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un in June.

Trump, who previously declared that North Korea was "no longer a nuclear threat," added he felt China was no longer helping in the denuclearization process because of the tougher U.S. stance toward it on trade. China is North Korea's chief trading partner and holds immense power over its economy.

"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 wrote. "Additionally, 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 concluded the trio of tweets by sending his "warmest regards" to Kim.

"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.

At their summit in Singapore, Trump and Kim signed a joint agreement in which North Korea agreed to work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, while the U.S. pledged "security guarantees" in return. Critics blasted the agreement as vague and noncommittal.

The International Atomic Energy Agency said this week it had limited information due to lack of access to North Korean facilities but had "grave concern" about its nuclear activity.

Trump has cited the lack of missile and nuclear tests by Pyongyang as a success stemming from his meeting with Kim, the first-ever between a sitting U.S. President and the leader of North Korea.