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U.S. President Donald J. Trump on Aug. 24 abruptly canceled Secretary of State Michael Pompeo's planned trip to North Korea.Days later, on Aug. 28, Nikki Haley, the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, said that it appeared the North Koreans were having second thoughts about denuclearization. Following his June 12 summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Trump boasted that he had removed the North Korean nuclear threat. At no time was there any mention of denuclearization being verifiable – a U.S. demand – or pertaining exclusively to North Korea.The United States and North Korea have "profound" differences on denuclearization, said Todd Rosenblum, a nonresident senior fellow in the Scowcroft Center. The U.S. president derisively referred to Kim as "little Rocket Man," while the North Korean leader called Trump a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard".The Washington Post reported that a sharply worded letter from Kim's deputy – Kim Yong Chol – vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee and a former spy chief who met Trump at the White House on June 1, prompted the U.S. president to scrap Pompeo's travel plans.
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