President Donald Trump announced on Friday that he would be canceling Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s scheduled trip to North Korea due to the rogue regime’s slow progress in denuclearizing.
Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met earlier in the summer in one of the nation’s most historic summits, agreeing that denuclearization was necessary, but disagreeing on what exactly that would look like.
According to CNBC, the White House likely expected the full relinquishment of all nuclear weapons, though Pyongyang would likely only agree to do so if the U.S. canceled its military presence in South Korea.
On Friday, Trump announced in a series of tweets that he was asking Secretary Pompeo to stay home because of the slow progress North Korea has made since the historic summit.
“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 tweeted. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee-Sanders later told reporters that Pompeo was in the room when the announcement was made.
Trump also pointed fingers at China for the cancellation, saying the country is not “helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were,” likely because of America’s “much tougher trading stance” with the nation.
Trump, however, concluded his announcement by sending his regards to Kim Jong Un, and said he hopes to meet with him soon.
“Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our trading relationship with China is resolved,” Trump wrote. “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 marks a change in tone for the president, who claimed after his summit in Singapore that “there is not longer a nuclear threat from North Korea.”