Talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and DPRK leader Kim Jong Un ended abruptly and without a deal, with a breakdown over U.S. sanctions on Pyongyang.
“Sometimes you have to walk,” Trump said to a news conference that capped off the summit in Hanoi, Vietnam that brought the two sides together months after the first such summit in Singapore last year–the first time a sitting U.S. president met with a DPRK leader. Trump said his counterparts wanted U.S. sanctions to be lifted without a commitment to eliminate its nuclear arsenal. Therefore, he said, the agreement was not ready to be signed.
“Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that,” Trump told reporters.
“I’d much rather do it right than do it fast,” the U.S. president said, adding “we’re in position to do something very special.”
Trump’s press conference was conducted right before leaving Hanoi for Washington, and was moved up two hours, in lieu of a lunch and signing ceremony that were scheduled for the two leaders.
The abrupt end to the summit followed optimism and a friendly dinner between Trump and Kim the day prior. Despite the lack of a deal, some movement was made–Kim said if he was not ready to denuclearize “I won’t be here right now.” Trump also said that Kim had promised to not resume nuclear and missile testing.
There was no commitment to a third summit by the end of this summit in Hanoi, but Trump said the next meeting “may not be for a long time.” However, Trump said the idea of opening a liaison office in the DPRK is “not a bad idea.”