Trump, Kim fail to reach nuclear deal during Hanoi summit
By KIM GAMEL | STARS AND STRIPES Published: February 27, 2019
HANOI, Vietnam — President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un failed to reach a nuclear deal during their second summit Thursday because of sanctions, the president said.
The two leaders met in the Vietnamese capital, eight months after their first meeting in Singapore, but they were unable to agree on a joint statement.
The two sides cut short their talks Thursday by about two hours and canceled a scheduled working lunch.
“Sometimes you have to walk and I think this was one of those times,” Trump said at a press conference after the summit ended earlier than expected.
He said Kim Jong Un offered to dismantle some of his nuclear weapons apparatus in exchange for the lifting of all economic sanctions, which have been imposed as punishment for the program.
“Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that,” Trump said, adding the talks had ended amicably and the process would continue.
He said papers were ready to sign but he didn’t want to agree to a bad deal. “I’d much rather do it right than do it fast,” he added.
On the subject of restarting joint military drills with South Korea, Trump told reporters the exercises cost too much.
“Exercising is fun and it’s nice and they play those war games … but it’s a very, very expensive thing,” he said.
Trump and Kim first met June 12 in Singapore, an unprecedented summit between the countries, which have been enemies since the 1950-53 Korean War.
They promised in a vaguely worded statement to work toward the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula,” as well as to improve relations, build a “lasting and stable peace regime” and to recover the remains of thousands of troops killed in the war.
But talks over how to implement that agreement stalled, raising skepticism over the North’s willingness to relinquish its hard-won nukes.