Donald Trump’s talks with Kim Jong-un ended abruptly on Thursday as the president said he was forced to walk away after the North Korean dictator demanded that all sanctions be lifted in return for giving up only some of his nukes.
Trump said the final snag that caused the sudden breakdown was over sanctions – and Kim’s push to have all of them lifted in exchange for a concession Trump and his secretary of state could not live with.
‘Sometimes you have to walk away,’ Trump told reporters at a press conference in Hanoi that was abruptly moved up after a breakdown in talks.
The president expressed his hope that the two leaders would meet again, but acknowledged: ‘It might be soon, it might not be for a long time. I can’t tell you.’
Meanwhile, the president blasted longtime fixer Michael Cohen, saying he ‘lied’ after his former lawyer delivered bombshell testimony. The president mostly avoided the topic by calling on a series of members of the foreign press corps he did not recognize rather than White House reporters preparing to quiz him on the crimes Cohen claims he witnessed.
‘Person in the front go ahead,’ Trump said, calling on one of many members of the foreign press corps covering the event.
Trump said that he remains on good terms with Kim and continued to tout the ‘enormous potential’ of North Korea, not notably said there were no plans for a next summit meeting.
Trump candidly revealed that Kim wanted the sanctions off, but was not willing to give up his array of nukes, missiles, and additional sites he only alluded to vaguely.