Credit: Youtube screen grab

Trump Ends Kim Summit a Day Early: ‘Sometimes You Have to Walk’

“Sometimes you have to walk.”

What was scheduled to be a three-meeting summit abruptly ended after just two days, with President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reaching an impasse over existing international sanctions against North Korea.

Trump’s critics have accused him of being overly deferential to Kim.

“Sometimes you have to walk,” Trump said at a press conference in Hanoi Thursday.

Negotiations ended after Kim demanded all international sanctions be lifted immediately. In exchange, North Korea would close one major nuclear facility.

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The Trump administration aimed to have North Korea commit to ending its entire nuclear program, but North Korean leaders were unwilling to go that far.

“Given the current level of trust between North Korea and the United States, this was the maximum step for denuclearization we could offer,” North Korea’s foreign minister Mr. Ri Yong-ho told reporters at a news conference.

Despite the abrupt end to the summit, President Trump remained optimistic about future relations. Although the US was unable to secure additional concessions, Kim confirmed he was still committed to last year’s moratorium on nuclear and ballistic missile testing.

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“This wasn’t a walkaway like you get up and walk out,” he said. “No, this was very friendly. We shook hands.”

Similarly, South Korean president Moon Jae-in struck an optimistic tone in the aftermath of the talks.

“It is regrettable that they could not reach a complete agreement,” Kim Eui-kyeom, a spokesman for Moon, said. “But it also seems clear that both sides have made more significant progress than ever.”

The summit was the second meeting between the two leaders in less than a year. After the first meeting in June, the two sides agreed on a set of commitments that would ease tensions on the long disputed peninsula. However, with no timetables or enforcement mechanisms in place, it was hoped that the Vietnam summit would result in a more firm commitment from the isolated nation.

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Cover image: Kim Jung Un (Youtube screen grab)

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