US President Donald Trump described his Hanoi summit with Kim Jong-un as productive, but ultimately not successful enough to sign a formal agreement, with both leaders abruptly leaving the key meeting.
Trump and Kim met in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Wednesday and both made a number of promising statements. President Trump called Kim a “great leader,” while the latter said they were able to “overcome all the obstacles” to have this second historic meeting.
However, on Thursday, Trump and Kim were seen leaving the Metropole hotel separately, almost two hours before they were expected to conclude their summit and hold a signing ceremony. Despite having numerous “options” on the table, Trump told journalists that no deal had been reached.
“At this time we decided not to do any of the options and we’ll see where that goes,” Trump said, adding that the two-day summit in Vietnam was “very interesting and productive,” but “sometimes you have to walk.”
It wasn’t a good thing to be signing anything.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo weighed in, saying “more progress” was made during the meetings. However, that was not enough to ink a deal with Pyongyang.
“We didn’t get to something that ultimately made sense for the United States of America. I think Chairman Kim was hopeful that we would [reach an agreement]. We asked him to do more. He was unprepared to do that, but I’m still optimistic,” Pompeo said.
Trump mused that even though the US and North Korea have two “totally different” political systems, the two nations will ultimately end up being “very good friends.” For the time being, however, US sanctions on North Korea will remain, the US president stated.
Trump noted that progress has been made even though the two sides will leave Vietnam without an agreement, and that Kim’s “vision” for what a denuclearized North Korea would look like is more in line with Washington’s position than it was a year ago.