World

Trump-Kim Jong summit ends in failure

Mr Trump said the demands were unacceptable and it was best to continue to work towards a good deal than a bad one.

The second summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong UN has ended without a deal, with the US president walking away from talks with the North Korean leader.

Billed as the next stage in the denuclearisation of the secretive nation, and a time to potentially bring a peace deal to formally end the Korean War, talks ended abruptly, with the leaders skipping their last meal together and abandoning plans to sign an agreement.

Mr Trump said the talks collapsed because Mr Kim demanded all the sanctions against his country be lifted, in exchange for the shutting down of his Yongbyon nuclear facility where North Korea enriches uranium.

But Mr Trump said the demands were unacceptable and it was best to continue to work towards a good deal than a bad one.

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It was all about the sanctions,” the US president told a news conference afterwards.

Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that.

We spent all day with Kim Jong UN, he’s quite a guy, quite a character, but we decided not to sign anything.

It was very productive, but sometimes you have to walk and this was just one of those times,” he said, adding: “It was a friendly walk.

Trump and Kim in a friendly walk.
Trump and Kim in a friendly walk.

The White House said both sides would look forward to future talks, though it is not clear when they will take place.

The US president said: “We know what some of the challenges are, but we can ultimately achieve what the world wants, which is to denuclearise North Korea.

But I’m optimistic about the progress that we made.

We felt good about the progress but we couldn’t quite get over the line. I hope we will do so in the weeks ahead.

Mr Trump said his relationship with Mr Kim remained warm, but did not commit to a third meeting with his North Korean counterpart.

He said a possible third summit “may not be for a long time

The failure to come to an agreement will raise questions in North and South Korea as well as the US.

Although many sanctions against North Korea are US-led, they involve other nations and the UN, and so any decisions cannot be taken by Mr Trump alone.

Mr Trump hinted at this, saying he could not lose the trust of countries like China if he removed sanctions.

While Mr Trump was in talks with Mr Kim, his former lawyer Michael Cohen was giving his testimony to Congress, claiming he lied before about the US president and the election.

Mr Trump appeared to be more concerned about the timing of the hearing and said it should not have been scheduled during his trip.

He said it was “incredible” it took place while he was in Hanoi, and not two days or a week later, when he said it could have been bigger.

“He lied a lot,” said Mr Trump. “But it was very interesting because he didn’t lie about one thing: he said no collusion with the Russian hoax. I wonder why he didn’t lie about that too like he did about everything else. I was actually impressed that he didn’t say, ‘well I think there was collusion for this reason or that’. He didn’t say that.

He added: “This should never happen to another president. This is so bad for our country.”

When questioned on whether he wanted to get full denuclearisation from North Korea, Mr Trump said he would not be drawn on calling for that, but added: “We want a lot to be given up. We will be helping them economically, Japan, South Korea, I think China would help.

I am never afraid to walk from a deal – I would do that with China too.

Mr Kim said the testing will not start, on rockets, missiles, all I can tell you is that’s what he said.

He also defended the North Korean leader over the death of US national Otto Warmbier.

The University of Virginia student had been in North Korea on a trip with other students and was sentenced to 15 years of hard labour after allegedly stealing a propaganda poster.

He died in June 2017 shortly after returning to the US in a coma.

But Mr Trump said Mr Kim knew nothing about what happened to Mr Warmbier, adding: “I did speak about it; I don’t think he would have allowed it to happen. Those prisons are rough. He felt badly about it.

In a wide ranging press conference, Mr. Trump also addressed other deals and conflicts worldwide, including Israel and Palestine.

He said: “We are working hard on a peace plan.

I think Netanyahu has done a great job, he is tough and smart and strong.

He has built up his military, he uses the US, and he has given us work.

They have been very good, incredible in many ways.

There is a chance for peace. I have heard the toughest of all deals would be peace between Israel and Palestine – I would like to be able to bring that.

On the current conflict between India and Pakistan over Kashmir, Mr Trump said there was “a lot of dislike, unfortunately” but added the US was “in the middle trying to help them both out” – and hinted of a peaceful solution.

They’ve been going at it and we’ve been involved in trying to have them stop and we have some reasonably decent news, I think, hopefully that’s going to be coming to an end, he said.

And he said the US was working to take aid to Venezuela.

Supplies are getting through, a little bit more. It’s not easy, he said.

People are starving to death. And you would really think that the man in charge, currently, would let those supplies get through.

In South Korea, initial reaction to the summit breaking down without a deal was one of alarm.

The country’s Yonhap news agency said the clock on the security situation on the Korean peninsula had “turned back to zero” and the diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with the North was “at a crossroads.

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