No Deal Reached in Vietnam Trump-Kim Summit

By Xinyan Fu 02/28/2019

Courtesy of Creative Commons

President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un had their second summit in Vietnam Wednesday. Discussions centered around a roadmap for ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons. However, they ended without a deal, according to President Trump.

It’s been eight months since the first historical summit in Singapore between the leaders.

Their first summit resulted in a document, in which Kim agreed to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula” and Trump promised “security guarantees” to Pyongyang.

The joint statement lacked details about how to define denuclearization or the time and conditions for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program.

On Wednesday, both sides exchanged lists of exceptions for the upcoming meetings. North Korea looked for numerous concessions which included an end to punishing sanctions, a replacement of the 1953 armistice that halted the Korean War with a peace treaty and the withdrawal of the U.S. troops from South Korea.

Mr. Trump and Kim had a “friendly dinner” on the same day after they exchanged a warm handshake and had a private, 30-minute chat.
Formal talks between the President and Kim took place on Thursday at the Metropole Hotel earlier than planned.

The priority for North Korea was putting an end to the international sanctions, which limit the country’s ability to import oil and export goods. For the U.S., the penalties were their best bargaining chip.

The talks ended with no deal.

Trump said he “walked away” from the talks after it was clear the two sides remained at odds over ending North Korea’s nuclear program.

The United States has urged North Korea to dismantle its nuclear weapon programs. Washington wants North Korea to commit to a specific timeline since the Singapore agreement was not the first time that Pyongyang had committed to denuclearization and then put it off.

Washington has also demanded that North Korea declare the locations and other details of its entire nuclear inventory and allow for international inspections.

Nonetheless, North Korea insists on moving “in phases” toward complete denuclearization.