U.S. President Donald Trump on Monday said China may be “exerting negative pressure” on a denuclearization deal with North Korea, as part of a wider dispute with Washington over trade.
Trump added over social media that he believed North Korean leader Kim Jong was committed to denuclearizing and that he would keep to the terms agreed upon at June 12 summit in Singapore.
“I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake. We agreed to the denuclearization of North Korea,” Trump tweeted.
“China, on the other hand, may be exerting negative pressure on a deal because of our posture on Chinese Trade-Hope Not!”
The U.S. and China are currently engaged in a trade dispute which has seen both sides levy tariffs on the other’s imports, as Trump attempts to reduce the U.S.’ trade deficit with its major trading partners.
The spat also led Beijing to stop publishing its detailed trade statistics, making life difficult for Asia-focused commodities traders and analysts, though also making it more challenging it to track China’s DPRK sanctions enforcement.
Trump’s tweet comes after U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo wrapped up a visit to the North Korean capital on July 6.
Following his departure from North Korea, the country’s state media was quick to publish a piece indicating a downturn in the negotiation process.
“What the U.S. is requesting is the cancerous demands from previous administrations that blocked all dialogue processes,” an article published by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) published on July 7 reads.
Speaking at a press conference in Tokyo following his visit to Pyongyang, Pompeo dismissed the DPRK’s criticisms of the talks, calling them “stray comments”.
“We had lengthy discussions about the scope of what complete denuclearization means over the past two days. They acknowledge that this is broad,” Pompeo added.
Trump’s comments on Monday also follow earlier remarks where the U.S. President indicated that negotiations with North Korea may not go as planned.
Speaking during an interview with Fox News on July 1, the U.S. president admitted it was possible a deal to denuclearize the DPRK might not work out.
But both Trump and the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders have said in recent days that talks with North Korea are going well and continue to show positive momentum.
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Featured Image: Donald Trump by Gage Skidmore on 2018-02-23 08:40:35