Donald Trump cancels Mike Pompeo's North Korea visit citing lack of progress on denuclearisation

President also accuses China of not 'helping with the process of denuclearisation'

Mike Pompeo meets with North Korean officials on visit to Pyongyang

Donald Trump has cancelled US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's upcoming visit to North Korea, citing a lack of progress on denuclearisation.

​"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 denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula," Mr Trump tweeted on Friday afternoon.

"Additionally, because of our much tougher Trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearisation as they once were," he added.

Mr Pompeo was scheduled to arrive in Pyongyang next week with his newly appointed special envoy, Stephen Biegun. The trip, Mr Pompeo's fourth as secretary of state, was intended to build on agreements reached between the two countries at a joint summit in Singapore earlier this year.

The secretary told reporters this week that he hoped to "make further diplomatic progress towards our objective" of completely denuclearising the Korean Peninsula – a project North Korean leader Kim Jong-un agreed to work towards during the summit in June.

But North Korean officials have said diplomatic talks are currently "deadlocked," and have accused the US of making "gangster-like demands". US intelligence officials say North Korea has actually increased its production of enriched uranium in recent months, and intelligence reports suggest they have started work on yet another ballistic missle.

After Mr Pompeo's most recent visit, North Korean officials said the talks had "brought us in a dangerous situation where we may be shaken in our unshakable will for denuclearisation, rather than consolidating trust between [North Korea] and the US".

Mr Pompeo called the visit "productive".

Even as the US pushes through the talks, Mr Trump has instigated a trade war with perhaps the largest power in the region: China. The president on Thursday placed another round of tariffs on some $16m worth of Chinese goods, on top of existing sanctions on $34m worth of imports. Beijing has responded with tariffs of their own on American-made goods.

Mike Pompeo meets Kim Jong-un in North Korea

Mr Trump has previously hinted at Chinese interference with the North Korea talks, tweeting in July that Beijing "may be exerting negative pressure on a deal because of our posture on Chinese Trade". Mr Pompeo said earlier this summer that he believed China had relaxed sanctions against the North in order to undercut those imposed by the UN.

On Friday, Mr Trump said Mr Pompeo would return to North Korea in the "near future," likely after the trade dispute with China was resolved.

"In the meantime I would like to send my warmest regards and respect to Chairman Kim," the president added. "I look forward to seeing him soon!"

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