Signing ceremony scrapped after Trump and Kim fail to reach agreement

| 28.02,19. 08:45 PM |



Signing ceremony scrapped after Trump and Kim fail to reach agreement

Photo: Mr Trump said despite the breakdown, the relationship between the two leaders remained warm. (AP: Evan Vucci)

The nuclear summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has collapsed after the two sides failed to reach a deal due to a stand-off over US sanctions on the reclusive nation — a stunning end to high-stakes meetings meant to disarm a global threat.


In a news conference after the abrupt end to the talks, Mr Trump said the breakdown occurred over North Korea's insistence that all punishing sanctions the US had imposed be lifted without Pyongyang committing to eliminate its entire nuclear arsenal.


"Sometimes you have to walk," Mr Trump said, adding that an agreement was "ready to sign".


"I'd much rather do it right than do it fast," the President added.


"We're in position to do something very special."


Both leaders' motorcades roared away from the downtown Hanoi summit site within minutes of each other after both a lunch and the signing ceremony were cancelled.


White House press secretary Sarah Sanders described the two days of meetings between Mr Trump and Mr Kim as "very good and constructive", although ultimately unfruitful.


"No agreement was reached at this time, but their respective teams look forward to meeting in the future," she added.


Mr Trump's closing news conference was moved forward and he departed for Washington ahead of schedule.


'I want that country to grow'


The breakdown came after Mr Trump and Mr Kim had appeared to inch toward normalising relations between their nations as the American leader tamped down expectations that their talks would yield an agreement by North Korea to take concrete steps toward ending its nuclear program.


In something of a role reversal, Mr Trump deliberately ratcheted down some of the pressure on Pyongyang, abandoning his fiery rhetoric and declaring he wanted the "right deal" over a rushed agreement.


For his part, Mr Kim, when asked whether he was ready to denuclearise, answered affirmatively.


"If I'm not willing to do that I won't be here right now," he said.


The breakdown denied Mr Trump a much-needed victory that could have offset some of the growing domestic turmoil back home.


But he insisted that relations with Mr Kim remained warm, stressed that progress had been made and said he was still hopeful of eventually reaching a deal to denuclearise North Korea.


"I want to take off the sanctions so badly, because I want that country to grow," Mr Trump said.


The two leaders spoke about China during negotiations, and China's Foreign Ministry said it hoped dialogue and communication between the United States and North Korea could continue.


"He's getting along with China, and so are we," Mr Trump said.


ABC/wires




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