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Trump says he won't send Pompeo to North Korea, citing a lack of progress in denuclearization

U.S. President Donald Trump meets with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un during their historic U.S.-North Korea summit on June 12 on Sentosa island in Singapore. Trump tweeted on Friday that he had instructed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea, because the Kim regime had not taken sufficient steps toward denuclearization. (SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump announced on Twitter on Friday that he had asked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo not to go to North Korea until further notice. Trump cited a lack of “sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” as the reason behind this decision.

What did Trump say?

In a series of three tweets on Friday afternoon, Trump said that his administration would be focusing on trading deals with China. China, Trump argued, had not been “helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were.”

What else?

These tweets agree with report on Monday from the United Nations' International Atomic Energy Agency. The IAEA said it had been “unable to carry out verification activities” in North Korea but that it had reason to believe that the regime was still developing its nuclear weapons program.

The IAEA cited evidence of steam and water coming from nuclear plants, as well as continued construction and renovation of known nuclear sites.

In May, in anticipation of the summit, Trump had halted new sanctions targeting North Korea. The day after the summit, Trump declared in a tweet that there was “no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea.”

What had Kim promised?

At the close of their June 12 summit, Trump and Kim signed a declaration that stated:

President Trump committed to provide security guarantees to the DPRK, and Chairman Kim Jong Un reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

Shortly before the summit, North Korea had made a show of destroying a “key missile stand.” However, a report that relied on satellite images taken on June 21, just over a week after the summit, indicated that the nation had been improving its Yongbyon nuclear plant “at a rapid pace.”

In late July, Pompeo publicly acknowledged that the regime had continued “to produce fissile material.”

What else?

Kim would not be the first member of his family to backtrack on a promise to denuclearize. North Korea promised to denuclearize and then backtracked on at least six separate occasions: in 1985, 1992, 1994, 2005, 2007, and 2012.

One last thing…
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