Trump explains why no deal was reached with N. Korea’s Kim: “I’d much rather do it right than do it fast”

US President Donald Trump (R) walks with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un during a break in talks at the second US-North Korea summit at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi on February 28, 2019. (Photo by Saul LOEB / AFP)


(Eagle News) – US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended a second summit that started warmly in Vietnam without a signed deal on denuclearization, with Trump saying he’d “much rather do it right than do it fast.”

Trump said that the deal could have been done that day, as all the papers were ready for signing. But he said that the agreement would not be “right” and “appropriate.”

Kim wanted to “lift all sanctions first,” and Trump could not agree with that and wanted more into the deal which North Korea could not give as of yet.

Trump said he and even US State Secretary Mike Pompeo wouldn’t be happy about such a deal. And it is in such instances that Trump said “you always have to be prepared to walk” without a signed agreement.

“I could have done a deal today, but it would have been something I wouldn’t have been happy about, Mike (Pompeo) would not have been happy about. We had some pretty big options, but we just felt it wasn’t appropriate, and we really want to do it right,” Trump said in a packed press conference attended by the world’s top media organizations.

– No agreement on lifting of sanctions, areas for denuclearization

“You always have to be prepared to walk. I could have signed an agreement today, and then you people would have said, oh, what a terrible deal, what a terrible thing he did,” he said at the JW Marriott Hotel in Hanoi.

“No, you have to be prepared to walk, and there was a potential we could have signed something — I could have 100% signed something today. We actually had papers ready to be signed, but it just wasn’t appropriate. I’d much rather do it right than do it fast,” he explained.

Trump said that negotiations with Kim ended on a warm, friendly note but that there was no schedule for a succeeding meeting on the issue.

At the heart of the disagreement were the sanctions on North Korea that Kim wanted to be lifted first “in their entirety.

“Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that,” Trump told reporters.

“They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that … We had to walk away from that.”

The summit was cut short and the working lunch between the two leaders were abruptly cancelled. The signing of the joint agreement was called off.

And Trump moved up by several hours a scheduled press conference for that day.

-Kim willing to dismantle Yongblon facility-

Trump said Kim was even willing to dismantle the Yongbyon facility, North Korea’s major nuclear facility which produced the fissile material for North Korea’s six nuclear weapon tests from 2006 to 2017.

But Trump said that there was no agreement on other areas that the US wanted to look into.

“They wanted sanctions lifted but they weren’t willing to do an area we wanted. They were willing to give us areas but not the ones we wanted,” the US President said.

Trump said Kim had a “certain vision and it’s not exactly our vision but it’s a lot closer than it was a year ago.”

“And I think, you know, eventually we’ll get there. But for this particular visit we decided that we had to walk, and we’ll see what happens.”

-Productive summit, complex issues-

Still, Trump said that the meeting was “productive” as the two leaders left the table understanding each other more, and knowing that the issues are more complex.

Pompeo said that both sides worked hard during the two day summit, and was hopeful that this was just the start.

“Our teams have gotten to know each other better. We know what some of the limits are and challenges are, and I think in the days and weeks ahead we can make progress so we can ultimately achieve what the world wants,” the US foreign secretary said.

Trump said he wants to “keep the relationship” with North Korea’s Kim who had promised him that the country would no longer undertake any nuclear testing.

“One of the things importantly that chairman Kim promised me last night is regardless he’s not going to do testing of rockets and nuclear — not going to do testing. So, you know, I trust him, and I take him at his word. I hope that’s true. But in the meantime we’ll be talking. Mike will be speaking with his people,” he said.

-Trump says no to increasing sanctions-

The US president, however, would not talk about increasing sanctions on North Korea saying that the current sanctions had already hurt the country and its people.

“I don’t want to talk about increasing sanctions. They’re strong. They have a lot of great people in North Korea that have to live also, and that’s important to me. And I would say this. My whole attitude changed a lot because I got to know, as you know chairman Kim very well. And they have a point of view also,” he said.

Trump said that if it was up to him, he would take off the sanctions.

“I want to take off the sanctions so badly because I want that country to grow. That country has so much potential but we had to give up that deal,” the US President said.

Still, Trump is certain that US-North Korea relations will further improve after the summit.

(Eagle News Service)