Breaking: Donald Trump, Kim Jon Un cut Hanoi summit short, ends abruptly without nuclear deal

U.S. President Donald J. Trump (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (R) shake hands during the second U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Wednesday. Photo by Ritchie B. Tongo/EPA-EFE
HANOI, Vietnam, Feb. 28, 2019 (Gephardt Daily) — The second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un ended abruptly in Hanoi Thursday after the leaders failed to reach an agreement on the denuclearization of North Korea.
The historic meeting was cut short, according to Mr. Trump, when the U.S. balked at a North Korean demand that all sanctions be lifted in an exchange for a reduction in the communist country’s nuclear program.
“Sometimes you just need to walk,” Trump told journalists shortly after the meeting ended.
Not only did the summit end early, a scheduled lunch was also canceled as was planned signing ceremony.
Trump told members of the press that he did receive assurances that North Korea would continue its moratorium on missile testing.

The breakdown in bilateral negotiations came as a surprise. A few hours earlier, Trump and Kim had struck a positive tone of mutual optimism. The North Korean leader even took a question from the White House press pool, an unprecedented move that came as Trump assured there would be “no rush” to denuclearize North Korea.

Trump did not change his assessment of Kim, who he has called his “friend.”

“We’ll end up good friends,” Trump said, adding North Korea has “tremendous potential” that has some of the “most beautiful shorelines in the world.”

The president also said the North Koreans were “willing to give us areas” for weapons disclosure, but “not the ones we wanted.”

Trump confirmed the two sides “absolutely” discussed the Yongbyon nuclear facility, a production base for plutonium.

“But [Kim] wanted the sanctions off first,” Trump said, adding the North Koreans were “surprise we know…about [a] second uranium enrichment plant.”

Even the dismantlement of Yongbyon “still leaves warheads and weapons systems,” Trump said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who took to the podium at intervals, said the two sides “made real progress.”

“Unfortunately we did not get all the way,” he said.

During his press conference following the breakdown of talks, Trump also said his former attorney Michael Cohen’s testimony before the House Oversight Committee in Washington was a “fake hearing.”

Cohen had told the committee his ex-boss is a “racist,” a “con man” and a “cheat.”

“Having a fake hearing like that, having it in the middle of this important summit was a terrible thing. They could have made it two days later,” Trump said.

Trump said Kim promised no nuclear or missile testing despite the lack of agreement.

“We just like each other,” he said.


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