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Trump cancels Pompeo North Korea trip over lack of progress

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Republished with permission by Knowhere News

US President Donald Trump said Friday he has asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to cancel a trip planned to North Korea for next week, citing a lack of “sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Trump agreed in June at their summit in Singapore that North Korea would work toward “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula in exchange for security guarantees from the US. Negotiations to implement the deal have stalled as Washington demands concrete progress toward denuclearization while Pyongyang insists on officially ending the Korean War (1950-53), which concluded in an armistice.

Trump on Friday also said China was not “helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were,” pointing to “our much tougher Trading stance” with the nation as the cause of the change in US-China relations. “Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved.”

Talks between Chinese and US officials in Washington Thursday ended without a deal. The Treasury Department on Wednesday moved against a Chinese shipping company and Singapore-based affiliate for violating financial sanctions against North Korea. The penalties imposed by the Treasury Department are intended to punish and deter those who would help North Korea economically as the Trump administration pressures Pyongyang to fulfill Kim’s promise to denuclearize.

Next week’s trip was to have been Pompeo’s fourth to Pyongyang this year, this time with special representative to North Korea Stephen Biegun, in the new appointee’s first such trip.

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