The recent meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and Supreme Leader of North Korea Kim Jong-un, which took place in Hanoi, Vietnam, has reportedly resulted in no deals or agreements regarding denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. According to Reuters, President Trump blamed the dissolution of talks on North Korea’s unrealistic demand to lift all U.S.-implemented sanctions against the country. Trump was joined on stage in Vietnam by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to announce that the Hanoi negotiations had ended with no progress.
“They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety,” the president said during a press conference, according to Bloomberg. “And we couldn’t do that. They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all the sanctions for that.”
Secretary Pompeo also spoke to the press after Trump, adding that, although both sides had come into Vietnam with high hopes, it was clear that no deal would be reached.
“We had been working, our teams, the team I brought to bear as well as the North Koreans, for weeks to try to develop a path forward so at the summit we could make a big step along the way toward what the two leaders had agreed to back in Singapore in June of last year,” said Secretary Pompeo while addressing reporters in Hanoi. “We made real progress, and indeed we made even more progress when the two leaders met over the last 24, 36 hours. Unfortunately, we didn’t get all the way; 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; we asked him to do more, he was unprepared to do that, but I’m still optimistic. I’m hopeful that the teams will get back together in the days and weeks ahead and continue to work out. It’s a very complex problem.”
Despite the lack of an agreement between North Korea and the United States over the nuclear issue, Kim Jong-un did allow reporters from the White House press corps to ask him questions. According to Bloomberg, Kim was asked about the possibility of the U.S. establishing a diplomatic office in Pyongyang and vice versa. Although he initially attempted to dodge the question, the North Korean leader did state he was open to the possibility of such actions.
What is unclear at this time is whether or not the two countries will regress back to the hostile relationship that has plagued both nations since the Korean War. Although in the past President Trump has praised Kim Jong-un, the abrupt end to the negotiations could knock back any progress made thus far.