President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference after a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Hanoi. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference after a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Hanoi. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)


  • Donald Trump said talks with Kim Jong Un in Vietnam fell through because North Korea demanded total sanctions relief but wouldn’t give up enough nuclear sites.
  • Trump said: “They were willing to de-nuke a large portion of the areas we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all the sanctions for that.”
  • Trump and Kim discussed shutting down Yongbyon, the centerpiece of North Korea’s nuclear program, but Trump said it wasn’t enough.
  • The leaders were due to sign a treaty in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Thursday, but the ceremony was abruptly canceled after talks broke down.
  • North Korea has around 12 nuclear sites, according to the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

Donald Trump says the North Korea summit collapsed on Thursday because Kim Jong Un demanded a total reversal of sanctions in exchange for a too few nuclear site closures.

Trump told a press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, that Kim “wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that.”

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US President Donald Trump (R) and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un hold a meeting during the second US-North Korea summit at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi on February 28, 2019. SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images


Kim offered up some nuclear sites in exchange, but not enough for Trump.

“They were willing to give us areas but not the ones we wanted,” he said.

Trump said that they discussed the eradication of North Korea’s main nuclear facility — Yongbyon — during talks, and that Kim said he was willing to shut it down.

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Donald Trump speaks during a press conference in Hanoi on February 28, 2019. MANAN VATSYAYANA/AFP/Getty Images


During the talks Trump said Kim had promised North Korea would continue to hold off testing nuclear missiles.

“Mr Kim said the testing will not start, on rockets, missiles, all I can tell you is that’s what he said.”

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Kim Jong Un (L) and Donald Trump (R) in Hanoi. KOREA SUMMIT PRESS POOL,MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images


When it became clear the talks had ended in a stalemate, Trump said: “Sometimes you have to walk and this was one of those times.”

During talks Trump said he and Kim “had some options and this time we decided not to do any of the options.”

According to an earlier White House schedule, the two leaders were expected to enact a “Joint Agreement Signing Ceremony,” but that was abandoned. After the press conference, Trump went straight to the airport and flew away in Air Force One.

“We haven’t given up anything, and frankly think we’ll end up becoming very good friends,” Trump said.

After Trump border Air Force One to bring his trip to Vietnam to an end, he tweeted this highlight reel of the trip:

In the caption the president said: “THANK YOU to our generous hosts in Hanoi this week: President Trong, Prime Minister Phuc, and the wonderful people of Vietnam!”

Read the full list of existing US sanctions on North Korea, in place since 2008, here.

North Korea has around 12 nuclear sites, according to the Nuclear Threat Initiative.

As reported by Business Insider