US President Donald Trump said today that things are going “well” with North Korea despite the lack of progress in bilateral negotiations, and partly blamed that situation on China and the trade dispute between Washington and Beijing.
“Things are going well with North Korea, we’ll have to see (what’s the matter),” Trump told reporters at the White House.
That slight show of optimism came five days after Trump announced that he had decided to cancel the planned trip of his Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, to North Korea because he considered that “not enough progress is being made in relation to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. ”
The president avoided to evaluate in more depth the state of the negotiations with Pyongyang, that as soon as they have advanced from his summit of June with the North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, and referred mainly to China.
“Part of the problem of North Korea is caused by our trade disputes with China,” said Trump.
“We have to fix our business relationship because (…) we are in a kind of, I do not like to call it a trade war, but China makes things much more difficult, in terms of our relationship with North Korea,” he continued.
“China has a great influence on North Korea, we will have to see how this ends,” he added.
Donald Trump has repeatedly accused China of using its influence on North Korea to hamper the rapprochement he has undertaken with Kim, in retaliation for the tariffs that Washington has imposed on Beijing and that have led to a trade war between the two largest economic powers of the world.
In recent weeks, the dialogue between North Korea and the United States for the denuclearization of the North Korean regime has been entrenched due to the differences between the two on how to carry out this process.
The head of the Pentagon, James Mattis, did not rule out on Tuesday that next year they can resume joint maneuvers with South Korea, which were suspended in June as a gesture of goodwill by the United States in the context of the thaw with the North.