While the GOP and President Trump had been optimistic over the prospects of a second Trump/Kim summit, this time in Hanoi, Vietnam, a sudden shift in scheduling signaled to reporters that things were not going too well.
In the early morning hours, Washington D.C. time, Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that the talks between the two leaders would wrap up soon, and that a press conference scheduled for 2 p.m. in Hanoi had been moved up two hours. The bilateral lunch and the signing ceremony were then suddenly canceled.
At around noon, the President spoke to the press, revealing that the two nations could not come to an agreement.
“It was all about the the sanctions,” Mr Trump told reporters. “They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that. Sometimes you have to walk and this was one of those times.”
According to the president, Kim offered to dismantle the Yongbyon nuclear facility in exchange for the complete lifting of sanctions. The problem, however, is that the Yongbyon facility is not the only nuclear facility in North Korea.
For Mr. Trump, this is a loss politically, as his supporters have been touting his ability to bring forth the denuclearization of North Korea, and he has repeatedly bragged about how much progress his administration was making in doing such.
There are no set plans for a third summit, but South Korea seemed optimistic about the future, stating that Mr. Trump and Kim have made “more meaningful progress than at any time prior”.