Executive Intelligence Review


Trump-Kim Summit: Wait Till the Next Round

Feb. 28, 2019 (EIRNS)—As it has been widely reported, the Trump-Kim Summit ended in Hanoi today, without an agreement signed, nor the heads of state having lunch. However, the principals themselves, and first reactions by spokesmen for leading nations—China, Russia, South Korea, and Japan, are speaking in terms of support for continuing momentum toward ultimate success for resolving the situation with North Korea. President Donald Trump spoke to South Korean President Moon Jae-in, by phone from Air Force One; and he spoke with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

The loose, first reports are that North Korea would not do all on nuclear-related measures that the U.S. wanted, and the U.S. would not approve getting rid of all the sanctions which North Korea wanted to happen.

President Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo gave a press conference today before leaving Hanoi. Trump said,

“Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, but we couldn’t do that. They were willing to denuclearize a large portion of the areas we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for them. So we continue to work and we will see. But we had to walk away from it. All sanctions will remain.”

He also expressed hope that eventually the United States and North Korea would become friends, stressing the economic potential of the country, Sputnik reported.

Secretary Pompeo said: “Unfortunately, we didn’t get something that would be helpful to the United States.... We asked him [Kim] to do more, he wasn’t prepared to do that.” He said despite the impasse, the two countries were closer towards finding a solution compared to before the summit.

A more differentiated report-out on sanctions was given by North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, as quoted by Yonhap news agency. Ri said that North Korea wanted five UN sanctions against the country lifted, but not all of them. Ri also said that Washington, D.C. wanted additional measures on denuclearization from North Korea beyond dismantling the Yongbyon nuclear complex. Ri said that Pyongyang was prepared to permanently halt nuclear and long-range rocket testing.

The early international reactions to the failed summit were mostly sober, but supportive.

China made clear that the U.S.-North Korea dispute cannot be resolved in one or two meetings. Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang said that China is willing to play a constructive role, and hopes the U.S. and the D.P.R.K. can maintain their talks and respect each other’s concerns. Soon after the Hanoi Summit, D.P.R.K. Vice Foreign Minister Ri Kil Song met in Beijing with Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi.

Russia’s Presidential spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters that the Kremlin will analyze the outcome, but stated initially that the practice of small mutual steps towards each other is not working, TASS reported.

In South Korea, after Moon and Trump talked by phone, Moon’s Presidential office, Cheong Wa Dae, issued a statement of the exchange,

“While expressing disappointment over the failure to reach an agreement in the Summit, President Trump reaffirmed his determination to resolve the issue through dialogue with North Korea in the future.... In addition, [Trump] asked President Moon to actively perform the role of a mediator. That may entail talking with Chairman Kim....”

President Moon said he would do all he can. The two spoke of the need for them to meet in person soon, and set diplomatic preparations for that to happen.

From Japan, Prime Minister Abe fully backed U.S. President Donald Trump’s decision to end his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without an agreement. “I fully support President Trump’s decision not to make the easy choice,” Abe said following a telephone call with Trump. “I am determined that I must meet Chairman Kim next,” he further said, reiterating his desire to have a summit with the North Korean leader, Reuters reported from Tokyo.