President Donald Trump said he is optimistic about his denuclearization agreement with North Korea after officials from the reclusive nation blasted talks with the Trump administration as “regrettable” and “gangster-like” over the weekend.
“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,” Trump said in a tweet Monday morning. “China, on the other hand, may be exerting negative pressure on a deal because of our posture on Chinese Trade-Hope Not!”
Last month, Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un met at a historic summit in Singapore, where the two leaders shook hands and smiled for photos.
Trump’s most recent tweet comes after North Korean officials chastised his administration’s approach to sketching out a denulcearlization deal. North Korea, in a statement over the weekend, criticized what it saw as “unilateral” demands by the United States shortly after a meeting with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
North Korea ramped up its fighting words several days after Trump imposed sanctions on its principal trading partner, China. Beijing retaliated against the U.S. with tariffs of its own, leading Trump to speculate China is putting pressure on North Korea. Trump has often reitereated that he wants to put an end to “unfair” trade between the United States and China.
Sen. Lindsey Graham, a GOP lawmaker who often goes to bat for Trump, criticized China during an interview on Fox News over the weekend.
“I see China’s hands all over this. We’re in a fight with China,” Graham said on Sunday. “If I were President Trump, I would not let China use North Korea to back me off of the trade dispute. We’ve got more bullets than they do when it comes to trade.”