President Trump on Monday asserted that he’s “very happy” with progress toward ridding North Korea of nuclear weapons, despite the stiff resistance that U.S. officials have faced from the regime in the weeks since Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un.
A Rocket has not been launched by North Korea in 9 months. Likewise, no Nuclear Tests. Japan is happy, all of Asia is happy. But the Fake News is saying, without ever asking me (always anonymous sources), that I am angry because it is not going fast enough. Wrong, very happy!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 23, 2018
The Washington Post and other media outlets have reported in recent days that Trump has fumed at his aides in private about a lack of progress since the June 12 summit in Singapore, even as he publicly hails the success of the negotiations.
Diplomats say the North Koreans have canceled follow-up meetings, demanded more money and failed to maintain basic communications, even as the once-isolated regime’s engagements with China and South Korea flourish.
Meanwhile, a missile-engine testing facility that Trump said would be destroyed remains intact, and U.S. intelligence officials say Pyongyang is working to conceal key aspects of its nuclear program.
When he emerged from his summit with Kim last month, Trump triumphantly declared that North Korea no longer posed a nuclear threat and that one of the world’s most intractable geopolitical crises had been “largely solved.”
His rosy assertions were mocked by Democrats, who argued that little had changed and suggested the president was naive for thinking a regime with a history of delay and obfuscation would change its practices.
John Hudson, Josh Dawsey and Carol D. Leonnig contributed to this report.