#Trump – #Kim summit breaks down after #NorthKorea demands end to sanctions

أخر تحديث : jeudi 28 février 2019 - 5:38
#Trump – #Kim summit breaks down after #NorthKorea demands end to sanctions

A summit between Donald Trump and the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without agreement after the US refused North Korean demands for sanctions relief, the US president has said

It was all about the sanctions, Mr Trump told reporters. They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that

The pair had been expected to announce progress on denuclearisation

Sometimes you have to walk and this was one of those times, Mr Trump said

Speaking at a news conference after the summit, in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, Mr Trump said no plans had been made for a third summit, but he expressed optimism about a « good outcome » in the future

And on his flight back to the United States, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was very hopeful that officials from both sides could resume talks before too long

The original White House programme for the day had planned for a « joint agreement signing ceremony » as well as a working lunch for the two leaders, but expectations were abruptly dashed with the cancellation of both

? were the sticking points

According to Mr Trump, Mr Kim made a significant offer – to dismantle all of the Yongbyon complex, the research and production facility at the heart of North Korea’s nuclear programme. But in return Mr Kim wanted all sanctions on North Korea lifted, something the US was not prepared to offer

There was also a question over the network of facilities that extend beyond Yongbyon. Last month, Stephen Biegun, the US state department special representative for North Korea, said North Korea had committed in pre-summit talks to destroy all of the nation’s plutonium- and uranium-enrichment facilities, dependent on unspecified US measures in return.

Yongbyon is North Korea’s only known source of plutonium but the country is believed to have at least two other facilities where uranium is enriched

Those unspecified US measures appear now to have been complete sanctions relief, which Mr Trump would not offer. The US president also suggested in his news conference that Mr Kim had offered only the destruction of Yongbyon and not North Korea’s entire nuclear apparatus

The president said that when he raised the issue of a second enrichment facility apart from Yongbyon, the North Korean delegation was « surprised » by what the US knew

? this a setback for Trump

The first summit between the two leaders, which took place in Singapore in June 2018, was criticised for having produced little in terms of substance, leading to anticipation that Mr Trump would push at the summit in Hanoi to produce an agreement on denuclearisation

The failure will be viewed as a setback for self-styled deal-maker Mr Trump, who has talked up his historic rapprochement with Mr Kim as a significant policy achievement

From Mr Trump’s perspective it will be a loss he can weather, Andray Abrahamian, a North Korea expert at Stanford University, wrote in a column for the BBC. « A ‘bad deal’ in which he gave away a lot would inspire years of debate and pushback from US foreign-policy elites. With this, he’s spun it as saveable through working-level talks

The summit came as Mr Trump was facing increased scrutiny at home in the US over his business dealings and alleged ties to Russia, after his former lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen testified before Congress on Wednesday

International reaction

A statement from South Korea’s presidential office called the breakdown of talks « regrettable » but said the US and North Korean leaders had made more meaningful progress than at any time prior

South Korean leader Moon Jae-in has worked to improve bilateral relations between the two Koreas, and played a role in arranging the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore

A later statement from President Moon said he had held a 25-minute phone conversation with Mr Trump and looked forward to productive results at follow-up consultations between the US and North Korean leaders

China, North Korea’s main ally, said it hoped both sides would keep talking

Solving this problem is definitely not something that can be achieved overnight, foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said

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