“Sometimes You Have To Walk”: Hanoi Summit Ends In Disarray As Trump Balks At Kim Demands For Sanctions Relief

Thursday, February 28, 2019
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden
Thu, 02/28/2019

Update: As analysts try to parse what the summit chaos in Vietnam means for US-China trade talks, Beijing has chimed in to offer some clues of its own.

In a statement that mirrored what President Xi said about a US-China deal, Beijing said the US and North Korea must “meet each other half way” on a nuclear deal.

Meanwhile, some have proposed that the collapse of the summit could strengthen Beijing’s hand in the trade talks, as Trump might feel pressured to go easy on China to try and win a deal with North Korea.

Even arm chair observers probably understood long before the Hanoi summit had even been scheduled that the gulf between the American and North Korean positions on denuclearization was probably too wide to overcome (after nearly a year of talks, the two sides are no closer to a deal). Yet, President Trump had apparently hoped that the pomp and circumstance of another historic summit would soften Kim Jong Un up. But despite all the talk about North Korea being “ready to denuclearize” and both leaders hyping up the possibility that a deal would be struck, alas, no deal was forthcoming, and Trump is now headed back to Washington empty handed.

Talks between the two world leaders broke down Thursday afternoon as President Trump abruptly walked away from the table and canceled a planned lunch and signing ceremony (it’s still not clear what the two leaders had hoped to sign, though scheduling the ceremony before a deal had been struck did seem risky). With the talks in disarray, Trump moved up a news conference where he and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo took questions from the press.

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