'The road ahead will be hard and challenging and we know critics will try to minimize what we have achieved, ' he said. The first major follow through on a trade threat directed unilaterally at China coincided with Pompeo's meeting in North Korea last week, adding to speculation that China may be trying to leverage its position as the final guarantor of economic pressure on Pyongyang in trade talks with the US.
Trump suggested that China, North Korea's chief ally, might be interfering in reaction to the Trump administration's stance on US-China trade.
"We agreed to the denuclearisation of North Korea", he wrote, despite the fact that the declaration signed by the two leaders refers to the denuclearisation of the "Korean peninsula" - a vague formula that leaves room for various interpretations. He added, "While we are encouraged by the progress of these talks, progress alone does not justify the relaxation of the existing sanctions regime". "The statements that were put out, Chairman Kim's statement following our discussions, continued to express his desire to complete the denuclearization to which he is so committed", Pompeo said.
After the historic U.S. But after two days of theatrical amity in Pyongyang it illustrated the gulf that remains between the two sides. And, the promised remains have yet to be delivered.
The North statement contradicted the version of events given by Pompeo just hours before.
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In a statement carried by the North's official Korean Central News Agency, the foreign ministry said the outcome of Pompeo's talks with senior official Kim Yong-chol was "very concerning" because it has led to a "dangerous phase that might rattle our willingness for denuclearisation that had been firm".
The North's spokesman said: "We expected that the US side would come with productive measures conducive to building trust in line with the spirit of the North-US summit and (we) considered providing something that would correspond to them". Our expectations and hopes were so naive it could be called foolish'.
Last month, Kim agreed to "work towards complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula" in return for security guarantees and an end to a unsafe stand-off with United States forces.
Today President Trump said he is confident Kim will ultimately honor the contract they signed in Singapore, but is watching China's behavior behind the scenes.
DPRK is short for Democratic People's Republic of Korea, the North's official title.
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He claimed that "When we spoke to them about denuclearization, they did not push back" but admitted the "road ahead will be hard and challenging". "We're in a fight with China", he said.
This is a reversal of the longstanding Western complaint that China uses North Korea as a tool for extracting strategic and diplomatic concessions, essentially renting itself out as the only dogcatcher that can contain the feral North Korean hound when it slips its leash.
Pundits said Trump's latest outburst was worrying as it could play into the hands of Kim, who has pitted Washington against Beijing and even its own allies over the years with his nuclear brinkmanship.
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