Talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un collapsed Feb. 28 after the two sides failed to bridge a standoff over U.S. sanctions, a dispiriting end to high-stakes meetings meant to disarm a global nuclear threat.
Trump blamed the breakdown on North Korea’s insistence that all the punishing sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Pyongyang be lifted without the North committing to eliminate its nuclear arsenal.
“Sometimes you have to walk,” Trump explained at a closing news conference after the summit was abruptly cut short. He said there had been a proposed agreement that was “ready to be signed.”
“I’d much rather do it right than do it fast,” Trump said. “We’re in position to do something very special.”
Mere hours after both nations had seemed hopeful of a deal, the two leaders’ motorcades roared away from the downtown Hanoi summit site, their lunch canceled and a signing ceremony scuttled. The president’s closing news conference was hurriedly moved up, and he departed for Washington more than two hours ahead of schedule.
Trump insisted his relations with Kim remained warm, but the two sides appeared to be galaxies apart on an agreement that would live up to the U.S.’s stated goals. (AP)