Trump and Kim end extended format talks in Hanoi

by Garry Watts March 4, 2019, 0:43
Trump and Kim end extended format talks in Hanoi

During a recent telephone call with President Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that he would take the responsibility for inter-Korean economic cooperation, without any comment on the dismantlement of Pyongyang's nuclear arms programs.

"I very much appreciate no testing of nuclear rockets, missiles, any of it, very much appreciate it", Trump told reporters as he and Kim sat at a round table in the French-colonial-era Metropole hotel before their session.

"Let me assure you I will do my best to bring a good result ultimately today", Kim said.

Kim Yo Jong is said to hold great influence over her brother as he meets with President Donald Trump for their historic nuclear summit in Vietnam.

Trump said late a year ago he and Kim "fell in love", but whether the bonhomie can move them beyond summit pageantry to substantive progress on eliminating a North Korean nuclear arsenal that threatens the United States is the big question.

Once the second Kim-Trump summit comes to an end, President Trump is expected to give a separate press conference before heading back to the U.S. Kim Jong-un will stay in Vietnam a couple more days to quote "pay an official goodwill visit" to the host nation.

Evans Revere, a former US negotiator with North Korea, said Trump was under pressure given his domestic problems and " Kim may be tempted to push Trump even harder for concessions, knowing how much the president wants and needs that testing pause".

"Both of their legacies are really rooted in keeping this relationship going further, and we have a very awkward type of love relationship between these two", Jasper Kim, a professor of global studies at Ewha Womans University, told Al Jazeera.

North Korea has conducted no nuclear or intercontinental ballistic missile tests since late 2017.

The two leaders took a brief break from their talks after about half an hour to stroll in the leafy hotel courtyard, by a swimming pool. Ed Markey, D-Mass., said he thought Kim requested the private meeting with hopes that he could "elicit concessions from President Trump that might not otherwise be possible if it was just our diplomats talking one on one".

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Trump's end-of-summit news conference was moved up and White House aides said he would address the sudden change in plans. "Some people would like to see it go quicker - I'm satisfied, you're satisfied, we want to be happy with what we're doing".

"If I'm not willing to do that, I won't be here right now".

What would Seoul do if Washington agrees to withdraw the U.S. Armed Forces from the peninsula for the Pyongyang's promise to abandon nuclear programs?

Moreover, President Moon has been appealing to the worldwide community for easing sanctions on Pyongyang, while the global community has been seeking to force the communist country to abandon its nuclear programs by imposing economic sanctions.

The US side had been hoping for major progress in dismantling equipment and facilities at the main North Korean nuclear complex at Yongbyon.

Image copyright Getty Images Image caption Streets in Hanoi were thronged with onlookers as the two leaders passed by Why a second summit?

President Trump said Chairman Kim "wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we could not do that".

He instead emphasized his good relationship with the young North Korean leader, which he said heralds "a lot of good things" to happen.

If the first Trump-Kim summit gave the reclusive nation's leader entree onto the global stage, the second appeared to grant him the legitimacy his family has long desired.

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