President Donald Trump confirmed on Thursday that the North Korea summit collapsed because Kim Jong Un demanded a total reversal of existing economic sanctions in exchange for closing a number of nuclear sites in his country. The president was speaking in a press conference in the Vietnamese capital Hanoi. Trump added that Kim’s demands to have the sanctions lifted entirely were not acceptable for the US.
He also noted the areas North Korea was willing to give up were not terribly important to Washington. There were lengthy discussions too about the shutting down of the country’s main nuclear testing facility. Trump confirmed that Kim was willing to shut it down but they couldn’t agree on how to move forward with this
The North Korean leader, however, made it clear that his country will continue to hold off any tests for nuclear missiles in order to give these negotiations a chance to progress further.
After the press conference, the president flew immediately back to the US. There was already a planned joint signing ceremony between the two leaders that was expected to happen after the talks. However, as soon as it emerged the meeting had ended in a stalemate, the ceremony was canceled. Trump said afterward that sometimes you have to “walk away” and this was one of those situations. He also said that the US hadn’t given up anything yet adding he’s increasingly confident these talks will have a breakthrough soon.
The Trump administration has been negotiating behind the scenes with officials from North Korea. Washington’s aim in these talks is to try to convince the Hermit Kingdom to abandon its nuclear ambitions in exchange for easing economic sanctions and development aid. President Donald Trump met Kim Jong Un for the first time during a summit in Singapore where both countries committed to a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. However, recent intelligence reports indicate that North Korea has done very little towards this goal.
The meeting in Vietnam was designed to iron out some of the contentious issues but it seems that president Trump will have to try again. Many foreign relations experts have argued that the lack of a clear framework on these negotiations may hinder any substantial progress. But even then, there’s a lot of confidence in the White House that it’s only a matter of time before a deal is pushed through. The talks have the blessings of China, North Korea’s biggest ally and economic partner.
Despite this recent deadlock, there are signs perhaps these talks are not lost yet. Ever since the first meeting between the two leaders, North Korea has stopped nuclear missile tests. In addition to this, the US has suspended the joint military drills with the South Korean military. The drills which are conducted annually had been fiercely opposed by the North in recent years.
We have also seen a de-escalation of hostilities between the two Koreas. The leaders of the two countries, in fact, had a cordial meeting at the DMZ a few months ago.