Trump says he has refrained from signing an agreement with Kim after demanding a lifting of sanctions

File Reuters

UNITED STATES (VOP TODAY NEWS) — US President Donald Trump said on Thursday he had refrained from concluding a nuclear deal with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un over Pyongyang’s unacceptable demands to lift US sanctions.

Trump and Kim Abra had earlier expressed hope that progress would be made on improving relations and the issue of important nuclear disarmament in their talks in the Vietnamese capital, Hanoi, in their second meeting in eight months.

“Basically they wanted to lift the sanctions altogether, but we can not do that,” Trump told a news conference after the talks were shortened.

The United Nations and the United States stepped up sanctions against North Korea when the isolated country conducted a series of nuclear tests and ballistic missile tests in 2017, depriving Pyongyang of its main source of hard currency.

Trump and Kim left the headquarters of the talks at the Metropole Hotel without a scheduled lunch and returned to their hotel.

“Sometimes you have to pull out and this is one of those times,” Trump said. “It was a friendly withdrawal.”

The failure to reach a deal is a loss for Trump, who sees himself as a deal maker and faces pressure at home because of his ties with Russia and the testimony of his former lawyer Michael Cohen, whom he accused of breaking the law while in office.

Trump said Cohen had “lied a lot” during his testimony before Congress in Washington on Wednesday, although he mentioned the truth when he spoke of “no collusion” with Russia.

– Trump is not rushed –

Although Trump has previously said he is “not in a hurry” to reach an agreement with North Korea and wants to reach an appropriate agreement with Kim, the White House was confident enough to reach an agreement until it included the “signing ceremony of a joint agreement” on the agenda at the end of the talks.

There is no sign of meeting Trump and Kim again, but the White House said: “The two teams look forward to meeting in the future.”

The first meeting between Kim and Trump in Singapore, the first of its kind between a US president and a North Korean leader, ended with an unambiguous statement in which Kim pledged to work for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

But this has not been followed by much progress.

At the start of the second day of talks in Hanoi, Trump said he was happy as long as North Korea did not conduct further nuclear tests or intercontinental ballistic missile tests.

North Korea has stopped testing since the end of 2017.

Trump said he and Kim discussed dismantling North Korea’s main nuclear facility at Yongbyon, which Kim tends to implement but wants to ease sanctions.

“We asked him more but he was not prepared to do that,” US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a news conference, referring to Kim.

Trump said the United States would be able to inspect some facilities in North Korea, but did not elaborate.

Although Trump hinted at a more flexible stance ahead of the Hanoi meeting, critics warned that he risked wasting critical pressure on North Korea if he did so much too quickly.

US intelligence officials said there was no sign that North Korea would abandon its entire arsenal of nuclear weapons, which Kim’s ruling family considered vital for its survival.

Earlier in the meeting, Kim and Trump sat opposite each other at a meeting table, both confident in progress and hinting Kim was ready to give up his nuclear bombs.

“If I did not want to, I would not be here now,” he told reporters, using an interpreter when asked about his willingness to give up his nuclear weapons.

“Maybe that’s the best answer you’ve ever heard,” Trump said.

This article is written and prepared by our foreign editors writing for VOP from different countries around the world – edited and published by VOP staff in our newsroom.

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