North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (L) shakes hands with US President Donald Trump (R) at the start of their historic US-North Korea summit, at the Capella...
Saul Loeb

Trump’s ‘great progress’ with North Korea comes to a sudden halt

Just yesterday, Fox News aired its latest interview with Donald Trump, who told the network what a “great job” he’s doing with North Korea. The comment on the heels of the president’s recent boast that when it comes to the rogue nuclear state, there’s “great progress being made.”

Maybe he shouldn’t have been quite to eager to brag about progress that doesn’t exist.

President Donald Trump said Friday he’s directed Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to delay a trip to North Korea, citing insufficient progress on denuclearization. […]

Trump said he’s asked Pompeo “not to go to North Korea, at this time, because I feel we are not making sufficient progress with respect to the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.”

Some independent assessments suggest that North Korea has actually been increasing its nuclear activity.

The American president’s announcement comes just two days after we learned that the International Atomic Energy Association, the United Nations’ atomic agency, said in an annual report that Trump’s outreach to North Korea has not slowed the dictatorship’s development of a nuclear weapons program.

Also, three weeks ago, the Washington Post reported that U.S. intelligence officials have seen evidence of North Korea “constructing new missiles at a factory that produced the country’s first intercontinental ballistic missiles capable of reaching the United States.”

What was that Trump was saying about the “great job” he’s done?

It seemed obvious from the outset that Donald Trump was making a mistake by prematurely claiming a triumph on North Korea. Despite the circumstances, though, as regular readers know, the American president assured the world that he’d “solved” the problem posed by the rogue nuclear state, to the point that North Korea is no longer a threat.

“President Obama said that North Korea was our biggest and most dangerous problem,” Trump declared last month. “No longer – sleep well tonight!”

As recently as late June. Trump suggested that he considered skepticism of his policy toward North Korea to be “almost treasonous.”

All of this rhetoric seemed misguided at the time. It seems a little worse now.