US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have ended their two-day summit focused on denuclearisation steps by Pyongyang, with the White House saying “no agreement” was reached.
The meeting in Hanoi appeared to have been proceeding amicably, but White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders told reporters early this afternoon that Trump’s planned post-summit press conference would be moved up two hours from 4pm.
The White House said in a statement that Trump and Kim had “very good and constructive meetings”, but added “No agreement was reached at this time”.
“Their respective teams look forward to meeting in the future,” the statement said.
Earlier in the day, Kim expressed readiness to rid North Korea of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.
“If I’m not willing to do that, I wouldn’t be here right now,” Kim said through an interpreter. Kim added that the two leaders were discussing concrete steps for denuclearisation of his country.
Trump and Kim both welcomed the idea of the United States setting up a liaison office in the North’s capital.
Trump was believed to be pushing for the verifiable dismantlement of the Yongbyon nuclear complex and other weapons facilities in North Korea in exchange for issuing a declaration ending the Korean War, a 1950-1953 conflict that was halted with an armistice.
Asked by a reporter if the two leaders would issue an end-of-war declaration, Trump said, “No matter what happens we’ll ultimately have a deal that’s really good for Chairman Kim and his country ... It doesn’t mean we’re doing it in one day, in one meeting.”
Trump said he is in “no rush” to denuclearise North Korea and called for a “right deal” with Kim. Trump also thanked Kim for not conducting nuclear and missile testing.
The leaders had one-on-one talks and an expanded meeting including their advisers.
In the meeting, Kim was expected to have called for “corresponding measures” from the United States, such as easing sanctions on North Korea including allowing inter-Korean economic cooperation projects to resume.
US officials have expressed hope that the two sides will show tangible progress beyond the vague commitments agreed to by Trump and Kim at their last meeting, the first-ever US-North Korea summit, held in Singapore.
Kim promised in Singapore last June to work toward “complete” denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, while Trump committed to providing security guarantees to Pyongyang.