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The Second Trump–Kim Nuclear Summit Ended Without A Deal

"Sometimes you have to walk, and this was just one of those times," Trump said after the summit ended.

Last updated on February 28, 2019, at 11:03 a.m. ET

Posted on February 28, 2019, at 1:52 a.m. ET

Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

The second nuclear summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended without a deal, after talks in Hanoi, Vietnam, were abruptly cut short.

"We felt it wasn’t a good thing to be signing anything," Trump told journalists at a press conference after the summit ended.

"Sometimes you have to walk, and this was just one of those times."

Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

The two-day summit in the Vietnamese capital ending without an agreement came as a shock.

Reporters at the scene said motorcades carrying the two leaders had departed from the summit site, heading back to their hotels. A previously scheduled lunch and signing ceremony was canceled.

Great meetings and dinner tonight in Vietnam with Kim Jong Un of North Korea. Very good dialogue. Resuming tomorrow!

At his press conference, President Trump said that Kim wanted sanctions "lifted in their entirety" without fully dismantling the country's nuclear and missile program. "We weren't willing to do that," Trump said.

Going into detail, Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Kim was willing to dismantle North Korea's Yongbyon nuclear complex in return for sanctions being lifted. But Trump said that the US could not agree, as that would leave elements of North Korea's program intact, including a uranium enrichment plant Trump said North Korea was surprised to learn the US was even aware of.

Trump once again praised his relationship with Kim, who he called "quite a guy, quite a character." This was the second meeting between the two leaders, who held a historic and, at times, bizarre summit in Singapore last June.

Asked about the fate of Otto Warmbier, Trump said he did not believe Kim was aware of what happened to the 22-year-old American who died soon after his release from North Korean captivity.

"Those prisons are rough, they're rough places, and bad things happen. I don't believe [Kim] knew about it. He felt badly about it, he knew the case very well, but he knew it later," Trump said.

"Got a lot of people, big country, lot of people. In those prisons and those camps you have a lot of people. [Kim] tells me he didn't know about it and I will take him at his word."

The table was set for a working lunch between Trump and Kim, before the summit abruptly ended without an agreement.
Saul Loeb / AFP / Getty Images

The table was set for a working lunch between Trump and Kim, before the summit abruptly ended without an agreement.

Earlier, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement that Trump and Kim had "discussed various ways to advance denuclearization and economic driven concepts. No agreement was reached at this time, but their respective teams look forward to meeting in the future."

Earlier in the day, Kim had expressed an apparent willingness to denuclearize his country, in what is thought to be the first ever time he's answered a question from a foreign journalist.

Here's video. Possibly the first time ever Kim Jong Un has answered a question from a foreign reporter.

“If I’m not willing to [denuclearize, I] wouldn’t be here right now,” Kim said in response.

I asked Kim Jong Un if he felt confident he could get a deal with @realDonaldTrump. He replied: “It’s too early to say. I would not say I’m pessimistic.”

“That might be the best answer you’ve ever heard," Trump replied.

At his press conference, Trump said there were no future summits planned, but that he and Kim could meet again.

"It might be soon, it might not be for a long time."


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