Donald Trump has failed to reach an agreement with Kim Jong-un as the second summit between the two leaders came to an abrupt end.
A lunch and signing ceremony were scrapped after talks in Hanoi, Vietnam, ended without a deal.
Afterwards, Mr Trump admitted that ‘sometimes you have to walk’ after the pair failed to align over sanctions.
“Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that,” Trump said. “They were willing to de-nuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that. So we continue to work and we’ll see, but we had to walk away from that particular suggestion. We had to walk away from that.”
He added: “We had to have more than that. We brought many points up that I think they were surprised we knew, but we had to do more than just the one level, because if we did the one level and gave up all that leverage that has taken a long time to build.”
“(Kim) wants to de-nuke, but he wants to just do areas that are less important than the areas that we want. We know the country very well, believe it or not, we know every inch of that country.”
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders insisted the leaders had a “very good and constructive meeting” and discussed ways to advance “denuclearisation and economic-driven concepts”.
She said their teams “look forward to meeting in the future”.
But the breakdown is a blow to Trump, who had promised the summit could be even ‘greater’ than the previous meeting in June 2018.
“I believe the first time we met it was a great success and I think this will be equal or greater than the first one,” Trump told Kim yesterday.
Trump/Kim outcomes –
None of the pre-summit hopes/expectations agreed:
End of war declaration ❌
Liaison officers ❌
Dismantling Yongbyon ❌
— Alistair Bunkall (@AliBunkallSKY) February 28, 2019
Earlier, the leaders had appeared to have found a point of agreement when Kim was asked if the US may open a liaison office in North Korea.
Trump declared it “not a bad idea” and Kim called it “welcomable”.
But questions had persisted throughout the summit, including whether Kim was willing to make valuable concessions, what Trump would demand in the face of rising domestic turmoil and whether the meeting could yield far more concrete results than the leaders’ first summit in Singapore less than a year ago.
Kim earlier answered questions from Western journalists for likely the first time, with the reporters receiving some coaching from the US President, who implored, “Don’t raise your voice, please. This isn’t like dealing with Trump.”
The North Korean leader struck a largely hopeful note, saying “I believe by intuition that good results will be produced.”
After a reporter asked Mr Kim if they were discussing human rights, Mr Trump interjected to say they were “discussing everything”, though he did not specifically address the issue