HANOI, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) — A gap remained between what the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States wanted, U.S. President Donald Trump said at a press conference here on Thursday, explaining the no-deal end to his second summit with DPRK’s top leader Kim Jong Un.
Trump and Kim started the two-day summit Wednesday night with a brief one-on-one chat and a dinner and continued their discussions the following day on concrete ways for peace and denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
The two leaders were originally scheduled to attend a working lunch and a signing ceremony for a possible joint statement at the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, but the events were cancelled with no agreement reached, according to the White House.
After coming back to the J. W. Marriot Hotel, Trump told the press conference that Kim had a vision which was not exactly the same as his, though their visions got “much closer” than they were a year ago.
“Sometimes you have to walk and this was one of those times,” said Trump, indicating talks between Pyongyang and Washington would continue though the two leaders failed to reach an agreement in their second meeting.
However, Trump noted that his next summit with Kim “might not be for a long time,” hinting at a possible hiatus in the summit diplomacy.
Trump said U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo felt during the meeting that it was “not a good thing” to sign off on anything, though they had some options on the negotiable table.
Following the one-on-one discussion between Kim and Trump with only translators being present earlier in the day, the two leaders had an extended meeting joined by their senior aides, including Pompeo.
“It wasn’t appropriate to sign the agreement … Actually, we already had paper today to sign,” said Trump.
Trump said there was “a gap” in what the DPRK and the United States pursued. Kim demanded relief from sanctions against Pyongyang “in their entirety” in exchange for denuclearizing a “large portion” of the DPRK’s nuclear program, something the United States could not agree to, according to Trump.
Despite the no-deal meeting, Trump said he would “continue to work on that” with the DPRK leader to narrow the gap between the two countries.
Kim and Trump agreed at their Singapore summit in June to a lasting peace on and the complete denuclearization of the Peninsula, as well as the start of new relations between their countries.