President Trump is heading back to the U.S without reaching a deal with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
The second summit between the two leaders in Vietnam ended hours earlier than expected, with Trump and Kim skipping a working lunch and a scheduled agreement signing ceremony.
Speaking to reporters after leaving the two-day summit, the President explained North Korea wanted all sanctions to be lifted in exchange for a good amount of denuclearization, but Trump said he couldn’t agree to those terms.
— Department of State (@StateDept) February 28, 2019
Nevertheless, Trump did call the talks productive, something Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also stated.
Pompeo said real progress was made in the meetings and that the two sides are now closer to a deal than ever before. As of now, there are no plans for a third summit.
President Trump said Kim Jong Un promised not to conduct any more nuclear tests or missile tests.
As for putting more economic pressure on North Korea, Trump dismissed the idea of increasing sanctions.
He said the sanctions are already strong. Trump also said he believes North Korea has the chance to become one of the most successful countries in the world.
He touted its location between China and South Korea, as well as what he described as “among the most beautiful shore lines in the world.”
Earlier, at a photo op during the meeting, Kim Jong Un signaled he was ready to strike a deal that could see him getting rid of his nuclear weapons.
Kim was asked by a reporter if he would denuclearize his country and he said if he wasn’t willing to do that, he wouldn’t be at the meeting with the President.
The reclusive leader also seemed open to having the U.S. establish a diplomatic office in North Korea.
Speaking through an interpreter, Kim told a reporter that the idea was “welcomeable.”