President Donald Trump has been publicly touting about being able to single-handedly avert the threat of a nuclear war, even going as far as declaring North Korea was “no longer a nuclear threat,” even though reports suggested he was frustrated over slow progress on the matter of denuclearization.
Since the president's historic Singapore summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo both confirmed the hermit kingdom has continued to expand its nuclear capabilities despite the agreement signed by the two world leaders.
The reports made it pretty clear that dealing with North Korea was not as easy as the commander-in-chief thought and promoted it to be.
POTUS, who thought he championed the cause of denuclearization, was so furious over the lack of progress in this regard that he canceled Pompeo’s planned visit to North Korea.
Merely weeks before the secretary of state's fourth planned trip to the country, Trump called it off on his favorite platform, Twitter.
"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 denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," he tweeted. "Secretary Pompeo looks forward to going to North Korea in the near future, most likely after our Trading relationship with China is resolved."
Earlier, Pompeo mentioned the newly announced special representative to North Korea, Stephen Biegun, would join him on the trip to Pyongyang.
But that didn’t happen, all thanks to Trump's illogical intervention.
According to sources, State Department officials were "briefing embassies about the objectives of their visit like 10 minutes before" Trump called the whole thing off.
"The president's tendency to undercut his negotiating team has made it easy for Pyongyang officials to refuse their demands. Now, as the administration finally installs a negotiating team, the president signals publicly that he doubts their ability to make progress," Adam Mount, senior fellow and director of the Defense Posture Project at the Federation of American Scientists, told CNN.
"Washington has allowed talks to drift along, unstable, unproductive, and without a coordinated negotiating team. It appears the president is willing to allow this to continue into the fall," he added.
Trump also cited the ongoing trade war between the United States and China as being one of the main reasons behind the stalled nuclear diplomacy.
"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 one of tweets on the issue.
Although, North Korea might be willing to take effective steps to roll back its nuclear programs, it won’t be possible without the existence of a real diplomatic relationship between the two countries.
While it appeared Pompeo and Beigun were ready to work towards the diplomatic ties, Trump’s abrupt intervention might not send a good signal to the North Korean despot.
Thumbnail / Banner : Reuters, Leah Millis