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Trump calls off Pompeo’s planned visit to North Korea

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Photo by AFP)

US President Donald Trump has cancelled a planned trip by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to North Korea, citing unsatisfactory progress on the denuclearization of Pyongyang.

Trump partly blamed China for the lack of progress, saying Beijing is not doing enough to help the process move forward "as they once were."

Trump's statement on Twitter Friday came just a day after Pompeo said he would again travel to North Korea along with his new US special representative, Stephen Biegun, in an attempt to break the deadlock.

Meanwhile, a senior White House official said that the president asked Pompeo not to go to the Asian country during a meeting at the White House on Friday afternoon.

Some US intelligence and defense officials had described the trip as premature, saying the prospect for significant progress was bleak.

Pompeo, who would have been making his second visit to Pyongyang since the historic summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in June, had not been expected to meet Kim this time, the State Department said on Thursday.

Trump has repeatedly hailed the June 12 meeting in Singapore as an unqualified success, slamming critics who cited the lack of firm commitments required of North Korea in the agreement he signed with Kim.

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