Vietnam summit: US president blames disagreement over sanctions for no deal – THE WEEK
Donald Trump has said that a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un broke down over the issue of sanctions, after the talks in Vietnam ended early with no deal.
“It was about the sanctions basically,” Trump said at a press conference in Hanoi. “They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that … Sometimes you have to walk, and this was just one of those times.”
The US president said that Kim had offered to dismantle some parts of his nuclear infrastructure, including the Yongbyon nuclear complex, but was not prepared to destroy other parts of the programme, including covert uranium plants.
Trump told reporters that he “had to walk away” from a historic Vietnam summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without reaching an agreement on nuclear disarmament.
Confusion reigned in Hanoi yesterday, after the scheduled end of the talks between the two leaders was moved forward by two hours and a planned joint signing ceremony was cancelled.
Optimism had been boosted prior to their meeting when Kim said he would not be at the summit if he were not prepared to denuclearise.
But Trump told media today that Pyongyang had pushed for all sanctions against the country to be lifted in return for closing down its nuclear facilities.
“They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, but we couldn’t do that,” the president said, adding: “Sometimes you have to walk.”
“They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that. We had to walk away from that.”
However, Trump dismissed any notion of increasing sanctions against Pyongyang, pointing to the impact that such a move would have on North Korean citizens.
“There are people in North Korea that have to live also… I would say my whole attitude changed a lot because I got to know Chairman Kim very well,” he said.
He also stressed that his relationship with Kim remained “very strong” and hinted that talks could resume at a later date.
“I want to keep the relationship – we’ll see what happens over the next period of time,” the president said.
Meanwhile, the North Korean dictator “remained more vague on whether he would be able to strike a deal with Trump”, reports Euronews.
“It’s too early to tell, but I wouldn’t say I’m pessimistic. For what I feel right now, I do have a feeling that good results will come out,” Kim said, in what is believed to be his first ever response to a question from a foreign journalist.
Despite the pleasantries between the two leaders, the curtailed summit is viewed as a significant failure by regional experts.
It’s probably fair to say no signing whatsoever is not what most observers of any perspective were expecting from the Trump-Kim summit. I think we’ll need to hear more details over the coming days/weeks to judge what this really represents. Giving it a C- pending more info.98:02 AM – Feb 28, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Mintaro Oba’s other Tweets
While the narrative that “no deal is better than a bad deal” is emerging, it’s hard to see how to keep up momentum for the negotiations is maintained in the post-Summit environment.247:41 AM – Feb 28, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy18 people are talking about this
Leonid Petrov, an academic at Canberra’s Australian National University, said the breakdown of talks exposed the “yawning chasm” between the goals of the two nations.
As predicted, the Americans are not prepared to end the war and the North Koreans are not prepared to surrender. A yawning chasm between the expectations and bitter reality.78:06 AM – Feb 28, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacySee Leonid Petrov’s other Tweets
Chad O’Carroll, of the Korea Risk Group consultancy firm, said the collapse is a “very bad outcome” for Trump. The impasse with Washington DC “could result in Kim Jong Un forging even closer ties with China” and also stymies inter-Korean peace efforts, O’Carroll added.
Lack of a joint statement today results from an apparent absence of U.S. flexibility on sanctions relief + DPRK interest in offering credible nuclear concessions.
It’s a very bad outcome + could result in DPRK issue falling from Trump’s agenda and Pyongyang pivoting to Beijing.
It’s also terrible for Moon Jae-in, who cannot pursue more than ceremonial inter-Korean cooperation for the foreseeable future.
His inter-K gambit will have not paid off for many conservatives in the ROK.
And for Kim Jong Un?
Watch out for cover of tomorrow’s Rodong Sinmun.248:32 AM – Feb 28, 2019Twitter Ads info and privacy18 people are talking about this
The South Korean government, which is keenly invested in the process, has said the failure to reach a deal is “disappointing”, the BBC reports.
The broadcaster’s Seoul correspondent Laura Bicker says that the “lack of progress or plan to get Kim Jong Un to give up his weapons will allow critics to ask what is the point”.