The “official” business of the Hanoi summit is yet to commence today, but Donald Trump has already caved to Kim Jong-un over denuclearisation.
The “official” business of the Hanoi summit is yet to commence today, but Donald Trump has already caved to Kim Jong-un over denuclearisation.

’No agreement’ in Kim-Trump talks

Donald Trump has walked away from signing an agreement on denuclearisation with Kim Jong-un after their meeting abruptly ended.

The White House earlier said "no joint agreement was reached" between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim at their closely watched second summit.

"But their respective teams look forward to meeting in the future," press secretary Sarah Sanders wrote in a statement.

Mr Trump addressed media at a press conference shortly after the pair were seen heading back to their hotels in the unexpected schedule change.

"We literally just left and spent all day with Kim Jong-un who's quite a guy and quite a character," he said.

"We had some options and at this time we've decided not to do any of those.

"Sometimes you have to walk and this was just one of those times."

Mr Trump later clarified it was a friendly walk and the meeting ended well.

"We shook hands. There's a warmth we have. We're positioned to do something very special.

"The relationship was warm and when we walked away it was a friendly walk."

Mr Trump said the pair could not reach an agreement on nuclear sanctions.

"They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn't do that," he said.

"We haven't given up and frankly I think we'll be very good friends with Korea and North Korea.

"I've been telling everybody they have tremendous potential.

"He wants to denuke, he just wants to do areas that are less important than what we want.

"He has a certain vision and it's not exactly our vision but it's a lot closer than it was a year ago and eventually we'll get there. For this particular visit we decided that we had to walk."

 

 

Earlier Ms Sanders said the pair had "very good and constructive meetings".

"The two leaders discussed various ways to advance denuclearisation and economic driven concepts," she said.

South Korean stocks continued to fall after the abrupt change in the summit schedule indicated potential difficulties.

A planned working lunch was cancelled and a signing ceremony was supposed to take place afterwards.

Preliminary negotiations had gone over time which caused the lunch's cancellation.

"Something's gone wrong," David Speers said on Sky News from Hanoi.

BBC's Jon Sopel said: "It's hard to overstate what a serious failure this is. After eight months of talks you don't organise a summit, bring the principals in to put their signature on draft deal - only for it all to turn to dust. A lot of seasoned diplomats had warned of the risks."

A South Korean government official told CNN they were as perplexed as the world now.

"The whole world was waiting for an agreement and so were we," the official said.

 

 

 

AWKWARD SIGHTING AT KIM-TRUMP TALKS

You've no doubt been seeing a lot of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in coverage of the Hanoi summit.

But there's another powerful figure who keeps not-so-covertly popping up, despite her best intentions - the dictator's sister, Kim Yo Jong.

Kim Yo Jong, 30, accompanied her brother on his trip to Vietnam for his second meeting with Mr Trump.

Ms Kim is the second-most powerful person in the hermit nation. The NK News describes her as "one of the most trusted members of the North Korean inner circle", noting how she has been tasked with such important missions as visiting South Korea to attend the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics opening.

But despite being her brother's closest confidant, Ms Kim has kept a firm distance from the two leaders.

In footage shared on Twitter, she can be seen awkwardly peering out from behind a wall as Mr Trump and Mr Kim stroll through the hotel grounds with their translators, before making a dash in the opposite direction:

 

 

In other posts, she is seen not-so-subtly disguised behind a tree as the leaders meet other officials just a few metres away:

 

 

 

 

So subtle.
So subtle.

During their two-and-a-half day train journey to the Vietnamese capital, a Japanese TV network captured Ms Kim holding a crystal ashtray while her brother smoked a cigarette at Nanning railway station in southern China.

 

Ms Kim has caused controversy in the western media in the past.

Last February, social media users lashed CNN for a glowing article on the woman. According to the CNN piece, which compared the woman to Ivanka Trump, Ms Kim had "struck a chord with the public" and is a "a foil to the perception of North Korea as antiquated and militaristic".

The article was slammed for appearing to glorify a key member of North Korea's brutal regime.

 

LUNCH AND SIGNING CEREMONY COULD BE CANCELLED

A planned working lunch between Mr Trump and Mr Kim appears to have been axed.

The White House has announced a major "program change" to the summit, with Mr Trump's press secretary Sarah Sanders telling reporters the lunch has been called off.

"We had a lunch menu for the two leaders but now appears Trump and Kim will not eat together," tweeted Sky News reporter Tom Cheshire. "Seems like no joint singing ceremony either - Trump will hold his solo press conference nearly two hours early."

At this stage, the next event will be Mr Trump's press conference at 2pm local time (6PM AEDT).

 

KIM SAYS HE IS 'WILLING' TO DENUCLEARISE

Kim Jong-un has said he is still willing to fully dismantle his nuclear arsenal.

During a brief press conference ahead of his meeting with Mr Trump, he was asked if he was willing to fully denuclearise, CNN reported.

"If I'm not willing to do that, I wouldn't be here right now," the North Korean leader responded.

Mr Trump then said: "That's a good answer. Wow. That might be the best answer you've ever heard."

The remarks came after it was reported the US President had dropped a demand over denuclearisation.

The US is dropping its demand that North Korea provide a "full accounting of its nuclear weapons and ballistic missile programs", current and former senior US officials told NBC News.

MORE: Confusion over Kim-Trump dinner date

The demand was a crucial part of a potential nuclear deal, although it's also contributed to stalled relations between Pyongyang and world leaders in the past.

All in all, this is powerful evidence to suggest Mr Kim doesn't intend on fully denuclearising, which is the main measure Mr Trump sought during their meeting last June in Singapore.

The report suggested US officials believed full denuclearisation was not going to be possible - a belief the intelligence community has recently suggested is increasingly likely.

Negotiations have focused heavily on the Yongbyon nuclear reactor, a core component of Pyongyang's program.

Dr Siegfried Hecker, a nuclear scientist who has visited the Yongbyon Nuclear Scientific Research Centre several times, described the centre as "the heart of North Korea's nuclear program" and dismantling parts of the facility would be crucial to denuclearisation.

Whether the Trump administration can convince Mr Kim to concede on Yongbyon is yet to be seen.

In remarks yesterday, Mr Trump appeared to deny he was "walking back" on denuclearisation.

"We had a very good first summit… Some people would like it to go quicker, but I'm satisfied. You're satisfied. We want to be happy with what we're doing," he said.

 

KIM ADDRESSES FOREIGN REPORTER

Kim Jong-un has addressed a foreign reporter in what's believed to be a world-first for the North Korean dictator.

The Washington Post's David Nakamura asked Mr Kim, in English, if he feels "confident" he can strike a good deal with Mr Trump during this summit.

Mr Kim replied: "It's too early to say. I would not say I'm pessimistic. For what I feel right now, I do have a feeling that good results will come out."

 

 

Mr Trump and Mr Kim are now moving to expanded bilateral talks at the Sofitel Metropole Hotel in Hanoi.

It is expected the pair will spend most of the day in negotiations before a signing ceremony at around 2pm (6pm AEDT).

According to CNN, they were supposed to have a friendly chat beside the hotel pool, but moved inside as the weather was too hot and humid.

Mr Trump also noted that he was in no rush to come to a deal. "I've been saying very much from the beginning that speed is not that important to me," he said. "Speed is not important to me. What is important is that we do the right deal."

 

 

 

Mr Kim said he was looking forward to a “wonderful dialogue” with the President.
Mr Kim said he was looking forward to a “wonderful dialogue” with the President.

KIM AND TRUMP'S PRIVATE DINNER

Last night, the pair had a private dinner together at the Sofitel Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, from which all but one of the US press journalists were blocked from attending.

North Korean reporters were permitted to attend the dinner.

In brief remarks before the dinner, Mr Trump told reporters he was "satisfied" with North Korea's path towards denuclearisation.

"We made a lot of progress," the President said of their first summit in Singapore. "I think the biggest progress was our relationship, is really a good one.

"It is an honour to be with Chairman Kim. It's an honour to be together in a country, Vietnam, where they have rolled out the red carpet and they are very honoured to have us.

"It's great to be with you. We had a very good first summit … Some people would like it to go quicker, but I'm satisfied. You're satisfied. We want to be happy with what we're doing."

He said his counterpart was a "great leader" and "will have a tremendous future for your country."

Mr Kim smiled as Mr Trump shook and grasped his hand while they were photographed by media from around the world.

The North Korean leader said "a lot of obstacles" had to be overcome for the summit to occur but he was "confident there will be a good result".

The past few months had seen a lot of patience and effort, he said. The pair took turns praising each other, with Mr Kim saying Mr Trump meeting him was a "courageous decision".

"I am certain that a great outcome will be achieved this time that will be welcomed by all people," Mr Kim told Mr Trump. "I will do my best to make that happen."

DENNIS RODMAN WEIGHS IN

Dennis Rodman has issued a statement reiterating his "continued and strong commitment" to assisting in Mr Trump's dialogue with North Korea.

Rodman, who has an unlikely friendship with Kim and is an informal diplomat of basketball to North Korea, said his "continued friendship" with the dictator remains strong, adding that he looks forward to speaking with Mr Trump about the summit when he returns to the US.

"You are on the cusp of a big, beautiful deal," he said. "One that would make you the front runner for a Nobel Peace Prize without question. You have my forever and forever support!"

 

The former NBA star launched an infamous spiel on CNN last June about how happy he was "for the world" about the Singapore summit.



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