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Donald Trump has finally been hit hard on what really has been happening in North Korea. Among them, insufficient progress on the issue of denuclearisation. So, he went ahead and blocked Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's fourth visit to Pyongyang. Pompeo had earlier announced special representative to North Korea, Stephen Biegun would be joining him on the trip. While it is possible that high-ranking officials in Seoul were informed of Trump's decision to cancel the trip, the announcement caught South Korean diplomats at the working level off guard. South Korean President Moon Jae-in had been planning to visit Pyongyang next month for a third summit with Kim. A statement released by the ministry said Pompeo explained "in detail" the reasons for postponing the trip. Interestingly, the statement did not elaborate. The South Korean Foreign Ministry, called the cancellation "regrettable" while Pompeo reaffirmed the US position that it will continue to solidify South Korea-US cooperation. Trump specifically referred to the ongoing tariffs battle between the US and China as part of the reason for the lack of progress on North Korean denuclearisation, something he had previously hinted at. "Because of our much tougher trading stance with China, I do not believe they are helping with the process of denuclearisation as they once were (despite the UN Sanctions which are in place)," Trump said in one of three tweets on the issue Trump was asked if North Korea had done anything beyond dismantling a test site to show it was in the process of denuclearising. "I do believe they have," he said but did not provide further details. Despite the cancellation, Trump sent his "warmest regards and respect" to North Korean leader Kim and said he looks "forward to seeing him soon!" When the two leaders met in Singapore in June, Trump had praised the young autocrat, saying Kim had "to be a rough guy," but that he was "smart, loves his people and loves his country. He wants a lot of good things and that's why he's doing this."Surprises never cease. Incidentally, Kim snubbed Pompeo during the last round of meetings in North Korea early last month, which sources said went "as badly as it could have gone." Oddly, Washington is yet to respond on the fact that Kim has thus far rejected its proposals, believing the US's stance to be "gangster-like." The latest assessment of North Korea's nuclear programme released by the International Atomic Energy Agency calls into question Pyongyang's commitment to denuclearisation amid ongoing activities at certain sites. The report cites "cause for grave concern" about these activities. But according to the group's most recent analysis, "no new dismantlement activity is apparent since August 3."

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