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Trump Cuts Denuclearization Talks With Kim Jong-Un, North Korea

Elizabeth Balboa

This week's summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un didn’t end as either party planned.

Kim had sought a window into international trade. Trump had sought nuclear disarmament. Neither found the objectives worth compromise.

“Sometimes you have to walk,” Trump said of his second meeting with Kim. Although, he assured the summit ended amicably. “This wasn’t a walkaway like you get up and walk out. No, this was very friendly. We shook hands.”

What Happened

Kim had offered to dismantle its core nuclear facility — but no other parts of its arms program — if the United Nations lifted all sanctions. The U.S. said the sanctions would remain unless North Korea more broadly denuclearized.

“It was about the sanctions,” Trump said. “Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, but we couldn’t do that. They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we want, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that.”

The leaders cancelled their scheduled lunch and signing of a joint agreement, and Trump returned to Washington.

What’s Next

Despite the deal’s dissolution, Trump said Kim informally agreed to sustain a halt on North Korea’s nuclear and ballistic missile testing. With no official accord, though, Kim could renege on his word at any time.

The U.S. and North Korea will continue negotiating, according to Trump. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo added he hopes to reach a deal in the coming weeks.

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Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead

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