President TrumpDonald TrumpTexas announces election audit in four counties after Trump demand Schumer sets Monday showdown on debt ceiling-government funding bill Pennsylvania AG sues to block GOP subpoenas in election probe MORE on Monday raised concerns that China may be seeking to undermine U.S. efforts to denuclearize North Korea but expressed confidence that leader Kim Jong Un will “honor the contract” he signed with the president.
“I have confidence that Kim Jong Un will honor the contract we signed &, even more importantly, our handshake,” Trump tweeted. “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!”
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 “contract” Trump referred to is a brief document he and Kim signed following their historic summit in Singapore, in which North Korea committed to “work toward the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”
Less than a month later, doubts have grown that Pyongyang is willing to take concrete steps toward dismantling its nuclear arsenal.
North Korea accused the U.S. of pushing a “gangster-like demand for denuclearization” during a series of tense talks last week with Secretary of State Mike PompeoMike PompeoRepublican lawmakers raise security, privacy concerns over Huawei cloud services WashPost fact-checker gives Pompeo four 'Pinocchios' for 'zombie' claim about Obama Iran deal Poll: Biden, Trump statistically tied in favorability MORE.
Pompeo later dismissed those comments, saying the two sides “made progress” and that talks will continue.
“North Korea reaffirmed its commitment to complete denuclearization,” he said on Sunday during a visit to Japan. “We had detailed and substantive discussions about the next steps towards a fully verified and complete denuclearization.”
The talks came as the U.S. imposed billions of dollars in tariffs on Chinese imports, triggering fears of a full-blown trade war.
China is North Korea’s closest partner but had previously helped the U.S. exert pressure on Kim over his nuclear program.