Trump, Kim talks collapse with no deal signed

Disagreement over sanctions led to breakdown in denuclearisation talks, Trump claims

Photo: KCNA/ EPA North Korean Leader Kim Jong-Un (R) with US President Donald J. Trump at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi.

US President Donald Trump announced on Thursday that he cut short his nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and he would return to Washington earlier than expected. 

The series of meetings between the two leaders in Hanoi, Vietnam started Wednesday night and was scheduled to conclude with a signing ceremony for some sort of agreement between the two nuclear powers. But instead, Trump acknowledged at a post-summit press conference that the meeting will end with no deal signed.

"It wasn't a good thing to be signing anything. We actually had papers ready to be signed, but it was not appropriate. I would rather do it right. I would rather do it right than fast," Trump said during a post-summit news conference after the talks fell apart.

“Sometimes you have to walk,” Trump added.

This came as a surprise since initially, Trump touted the two days of meetings as "productive" and downplayed any deterioration in his personal rapport with the young leader. But as he noted, it was a disagreement over sanctions that led to breakdown in denuclearisation talks. The collapse was most precisely due to North Korea’s demands that sanctions be lifted in exchange for steps towards denuclearisation, which would amount to a departure from longstanding US policy that no sanctions be lifted before North Korea completely dismantles its nuclear program.

"It was about the sanctions. Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn't do that,"  Trump said, continuing that Kim still promised him not to carry out any further nuclear or missile tests as negotiations continued. 

"He said the testing will not start," Trump assured. "He said he is not going to do testing of rockets or missiles or anything having to do with nuclear."

Trump and Kim met at the historic Metropole Hotel in downtown Hanoi, which is 12 hours ahead of Eastern Standard Time, after a brief one-on-one meeting Wednesday and an hour and a half-long dinner with their top aides, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney.

After US-North Korea nuclear talks abruptly ended due to parties'inability to reach an agreement on curbing North Korea’s nuclear-weapons program, global stocks slipped for a third straight day Thursday.

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