North Korea visit: Trump calls off Pompeo's trip

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Still, the US has repeatedly reiterated the White House's stance that negotiations must begin with Kim first handing over his nukes.

Some US intelligence and defense officials had considered Pompeo's latest trip to be premature and said the prospects for significant progress appeared dim.

"Continuing to "hate" America - long the major focus - would be out of step because President Moon has made clear that he is working together with the United States in his efforts".

You may remember that Mr. Biegun was considered when it was time to chose a replacement for Gen. McMaster as national security adviser.

"Additionally, because of our much tougher Trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearization as they once were (despite the UN Sanctions which are in place)", Trump said in a tweet.

Trump also stepped up his rhetoric against China, which has grown harsher as November congressional elections approach and as a trade war rages between the world's top two economies. The North for its part has been demanding the US ease or lift sanctions that are crippling its economy as well as fast-track discussions to formally declare an end the 1950-53 Korean War, which technically never ended.

China and the U.S. are engaged in an escalating trade war, exchanging tit-for-tat tariffs on US$100 billion worth of goods, with the most recent levies imposed by both sides on Thursday.

If the trade war drives a wedge between the US and China on the North Korea issue-as Trump suggests it has-then the trade war might very well cost Trump one of his few true achievements in office.

But with the White House seemingly determined to hit half (or maybe all) of Chinese imports with tariffs before the end of the year, the Chinese government has apparently stopped its backchannel efforts to get North Korea to denuclearize.

The sanctions were created to exert painful economic pressure on Pyongyang and drive North Korea's Mr. Kim to enter into talks over the country's nuclear program. It's nearly like these countries can't be trusted.

Trump placed some blame on China for the lack of progress with North Korea and suggested that talks with Pyongyang, led so far by Pompeo, could be on hold until after Washington resolved its bitter trade dispute with Beijing. China claims to be working on both denuclearization and regional stability.

South Korean participants of the second round of inter-Korean reunions of war-separated families will depart for Mount Geumgang in North Korea on Friday as scheduled. "We are seriously concerned about this", foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said in a statement posted on the ministry website.

South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha spoke to Pompeo by telephone Saturday.

South Korea, naturally, wants the momentum to continue as that nation also establishes a more open relationship with North Korea.