Two months have gone by since the Singapore summit with no serious steps toward denuclearization by North Korea, a reality that has left the Trump administration offering mixed messages on how it plans to proceed in negotiations amid growing concern that Washington is being played by Pyongyang. . .
“We’re not willing to wait for too long,” Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley told reporters this week, echoing comments by National Security Adviser John R. Bolton, who complained that Pyongyang has “not taken effective steps” since broadly agreeing to the goal of denuclearization in Singapore.
But Mr. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Mr. Trump’s point man in the outreach to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, have sounded a much more hopeful tone at times. Mr. Pompeo has advocated for patience and stressed that he firmly believes in Pyongyang’s “commitment to denuclearize.”
“We still have a ways to go to achieve the ultimate outcome,” Mr. Pompeo told reporters last weekend. He added that “there are lots of conversations taking place,” suggesting a breakthrough may be in the works even with signs pointing to the contrary.
The slow pace of U.S.-North Korean talks stands in contrast with increasingly frequent contacts between North Korea and the government of South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a longtime supporter of engagement with Pyongyang on the divided and heavily armed Korean Peninsula. (Read more from “Hard-Liners Push Trump to Ramp up Pressure on North Koreans Over Slow Pace of Denuclearization Talks” HERE)