President Donald Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un abruptly broke off their nuclear summit in Vietnam and cancelled a planned signing ceremony today because North Korea wanted sanctions lifted in their entirety but the US “couldn’t do that”.
“Sometimes you have to walk and I think that was one of these times. We had some options. At this time we decided not to do any of the options. We’ll see where that goes” Trump said at a press conference that was moved forward by almost two hours after the talks collapsed.
The president indicated that the discussions stalled due to Kim’s demand that all sanctions be lifted in exchange for concessions on Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program. “We haven’t given up anything. They were willing to give us areas but not the ones we wanted” Trump said.
The summit ended with a handshake, according to Trump who characterized the talks as “very friendly.” Trump said Kim has a “certain vision, it’s not exactly our vision but it’s a lot closer than it was a year ago.”
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told the news conference that he hopes a deal will be reached “in the weeks ahead. We didn’t get all the way. We asked him to do more, he was unprepared to that. I’m still optimistic.”