The White House last week canceled a planned trip to Pyongyang by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, just hours before the top U.S. diplomat was due to leave, after receiving a belligerent secret letter from North Korea's No. 2 that put the possibility of a successful visit in doubt, a report said Monday.

The Washington Post quoted two unnamed senior U.S. officials as saying that the letter sent by Kim Yong Chol to Pompeo was received Friday. Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party Central Committee, led previous rounds of talks with Pompeo.

The report said that while the exact contents of the message were unclear, it was "sufficiently belligerent" that U.S. President Donald Trump and Pompeo decided to call off what would have been the diplomat's fourth visit to Pyongyang.