No Agreement Reached at Trump-Kim Summit in Vietnam
HANOI - February 28, 2019
Trump and Kim had been due to release a joint statement but the White House announced a schedule change and Trump will now hold a solo press conference.
The White House announced that no agreement on denuclearization was reached between Kim and Trump.
Following the summit of President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, no agreement was reached, because Trump prefers to “do it right, rather than do it fast.” But the parties are waiting for the next meeting.
To date, Trump and Kim Jong-Un's tuples have left the venue for negotiations in Hanoi.
(LEAD) (US-NK summit) No deal from Trump-Kim summit: White House https://t.co/j5uqFg4dh3— Yonhap News Agency (@YonhapNews) February 28, 2019
The two-day summit in Vietnam between the Trump and Kim Jong-un ended in disarray on Thursday as the two sides canceled plans to hold a joint signing ceremony after making little progress on the way forward for Pyongyang to dismantle its decades-old push to be a nuclear power, SCMP reports.
Trump said his decision to not strike an accord showed his preference to “do it right, rather than do it fast,” and was a rebuke to critics who said he was being too soft on the hermit kingdom’s leader.
The first signs of trouble with the two-day summit in Hanoi came just past noon, when the White House told pool reporters a planned working lunch had been called off, and that Trump would return to his hotel for a press conference two hours earlier than expected – at 2pm local time. The White House said later that “no agreement was reached.”
Both sides had scheduled a joint signing ceremony at 2:05pm, with Trump supposed to hold a press conference at 3:50pm at the JW Marriott hotel where he is staying.
“Unfortunately we didn’t get something that would be helpful to the United States...We asked him [Kim] to do more, he wasn’t prepared to do that,” Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said at the press conference with Trump. He said despite the impasse, the two countries were closer towards finding a solution compared to before the summit. The US President, speaking after Pompeo, said Kim wanted the lifting of international sanctions. “But we couldn’t do that.”
Still, he said he wanted to maintain his relationship with Kim. “I trust him,” Trump said. Trump said Kim had given him assurances that he would not do any testing or “anything to do with nuclear activities.”
There had been little sign the leaders were locked in disagreement when they briefly spoke to the media earlier in the day, and during their dinner on Wednesday.
“We had a good discussion last night at dinner and pre-dinner was very good. We had a lot of great ideas being brought about … I think [North Korea] is going to be an economic powerhouse,” Trump said during the one-on-one meeting on Thursday.
Kim also said: “We have made a lot of efforts so far and we thought that now is time to come to Hanoi to sit together and then have this wonderful dialogue … and let me assure you I’ll do all my best to bring a good result ultimately today.”
The North Korean leader added at the beginning of a subsequent expanded meeting that he would not have come to Hanoi unless he wanted to denuclearize.
Kim broke from past practice and took questions from foreign journalist in the press pool. At one point he quipped to Trump about the reporters, who were shouting questions at him: “They are quite anxious.” The US President lightheartedly warned reporters not to raise their voice at the North Korean leader, saying, “This is not Trump.”
The two-day meeting in Hanoi was meant to build on the Singapore summit last June – an unprecedented meeting between sitting leaders of the United States and North Korea. At that summit, the two leaders agreed to a vague declaration on their commitment towards full denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
While few experts believed that would be achieved at the Hanoi summit, expectations were that there would at least be some progress.
The US and North Korea did not have an equal number of officials at the expanded meeting before the joint statement was canceled.
A total of three senior officials accompanied Trump: Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, National Security Adviser John Bolton, and acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney.
Only two North Korean officials were present: top nuclear negotiator Kim Yong-chol and Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho.
The South Korean presidential office, the Blue House, said President Moon Jae-in will speak with Trump by phone this evening. Trump is expected to leave Hanoi immediately after the press conference. Trump told reporters he would tell Moon and Japan’s Prime Minister Shinzo Abe – among top world leaders watching the talks closely – that Thursday’s developments are “part of a process.”