At the Singapore summit in June, President Donald Trump promised North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that he would sign a peace declaration officially ending the Korean War soon after their meeting. Now, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is demanding that the North Koreans hand over 60 to 70 percent of their nuclear warheads in the next six to eight months before they get the declaration.
Unsurprisingly, this has caused some tension.
According to a Wednesday Vox report, this discordance between Trump and Pompeo has stalled diplomatic efforts with North Korea, as Kim feels that he’s being yanked around and made to look foolish by the Americans reneging on their promises.
Trump recently cancelled Pompeo’s trip to North Korea reportedly due to an angry letter he received from Kim. The North Koreans see Trump as more pliable to their agenda.
Also causing snags is the resistance within the Trump administration to signing a peace declaration.
Per Vox, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and National Security Adviser John Bolton are against the move, worrying that the North Koreans would just lie about denuclearizing and would back out when they get what they want—a reason that Pompeo is pushing for denuclearization first—and that an official end to the war would let the North Koreans demand that all U.S. troops leave South Korea. The guards stationed there currently act as a buffer to dissuade the North Koreans from taking military action against their southern counterpart, lest they risk antagonizing the American military.