After North Korean officials gave a harsh assessment of Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to North Korea over the weekend, President Donald Trump appeared to pressure regime leader Kim Jong-un to stick to their denuclearization agreement via Twitter.
“I have confidence that Kim Jong-un will honor the contract we signed and, even more importantly, our handshake,” he said, before suggesting that China was attempting to strain relations between the U.S. and North Korea because of Trump’s trade tariffs.
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. China, on the other hand, may be exerting negative pressure on a deal because of our posture on Chinese Trade-Hope Not!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 9, 2018
The tweet suggests that Trump has no plans to back off the agreement he thinks the two leaders reached during their summit last month. After the meeting, Trump repeatedly praised Kim, moves that were met with criticism given the leader’s history of brutality against his own people.
Pompeo was in North Korea over the weekend meeting with officials, not Kim himself, to discuss the return of the remains of U.S. soldiers who were killed in the Korean War and to further press for the dismantling of a North Korean missile engine test site.
During the summit last month, Trump and Kim agreed to work together to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, with Trump vowing to end the U.S.-South Korea “war games,” and Kim saying he would disassemble his test sites, though there’s been no sign that he’s made any efforts to do so.
After the meeting, North Korean officials said their talks with Pompeo had been “regrettable” and said Pompeo made “one-sided and robber-like” demands regarding denuclearization.
“We had expected that the U.S. side would offer constructive measures that would help build trust based on the spirit of the leaders’ summit … We were also thinking about providing reciprocal measures,” an unnamed spokesperson said in a statement that was run on state media.