Trump cancels Pompeo's North Korea visit over lack of progress on denuclearization

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A document being exchanged between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (2-R) and North Korean leader's sister Kim Yo Jong (2-L) moments after it was signed by President Donald J. Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un. (EPA Photo)
A document being exchanged between U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (2-R) and North Korean leader's sister Kim Yo Jong (2-L) moments after it was signed by President Donald J. Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un. (EPA Photo)

U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday he had canceled 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.

Trump went on to blast China, accusing Beijing of failing to facilitate the denuclearization process because of trade disputes with the U.S.

"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.

Pompeo announced just a day earlier that he would travel next week to North Korea with the newly named US special representative for North Korea, Stephen Biegun.

Chairman Kim Jong Un met with Trump in June in Singapore at an unprecedented summit.

Experts have long warned the summit produced only vague agreements and that there has been no sign Pyongyang is taking serious steps towards getting rid of its nuclear weapons and production capabilities.

However, Trump left the summit saying that there is "no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea."

In the meantime, the U.S. has ramped up its trade war with China, slapping fresh tariffs on some 50 billion dollars in goods from the Asian powerhouse, with Trump accusing the country of unfair practices and intellectual property theft.

Beijing has responded with new duties in kind and has vowed it will continue to respond to any additional measures from Washington.

Talks this week between U.S. and Chinese officials failed to bridge the divide.

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