Trump Says China Is Making North Korea Talks ‘More Difficult’

Trump Says China Is Making North Korea Talks ‘More Difficult’

BY: Toluse Olorunnipa and Jennifer Epstein

(Bloomberg) — President Donald Trump said negotiations with North Korea over the nation’s nuclear weapons program are “doing well” but an ongoing trade dispute with China is getting in the way.

 

“China makes it much more difficult,” Trump told reporters Wednesday at the White House. “China probably has a great influence over North Korea.”

Last week Trump called off a trip to North Korea by Secretary of State Michael Pompeo, saying there hadn’t been enough progress in talks to denuclearize the Korean peninsula. In a series of tweets Friday, Trump said Pompeo would likely return to North Korea after U.S. trade disputes with China were resolved.

The U.S. has leaned heavily on China to help enforce a tougher sanctions regime imposed last year because it is North Korea’s largest trading partner and shares a border with the isolated regime in Pyongyang. China “is the route to North Korea,” Trump said Wednesday.

The trade war between the U.S. and China is primed to escalate further after their governments failed to make progress in two days of talks last week. The two sides had met with low expectations for the meetings and no further talks had been scheduled, a person familiar with the discussions said.

To contact the reporters on this story: Toluse Olorunnipa in Washington at tolorunnipa@bloomberg.net;Jennifer Epstein in Washington at jepstein32@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at awayne3@bloomberg.net, Joshua Gallu

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