President Donald Trump explains why he didn’t sign a deal with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after 2 days of summit meeting.

On February 28, President Donald Trump held a press conference with hundreds of reporters in Hanoi, Vietnam, after his historic discussions with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ended without a deal.

During the 35-minute session, President Trump detailed why he didn’t make an agreement with North Korea, why he’s still hopeful they can reach an accord in the future.

“Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that,” Trump told reporters at the JW Marriott Hotel in Hanoi. “They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that … We had to walk away from that.”

President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference after a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Hanoi. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)
President Donald Trump speaks during a news conference after a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Hanoi. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

Below is the remark of the press conference.


“Thank you prime minister and president of Vietnam. We’re in Hanoi. It’s an incredible city, and what’s happened over the last 25 years has been incredible for the people of Vietnam, the job they’ve done, economic development. Really something special.

So I want to thank all of the people of Vietnam for having treated us so well. We have I think reasonably attractive news from Pakistan and India. They’ve been going at it, and we’ve been involved in trying to have them stop.

And we have some reasonably decent news. I think hopefully that’s going to be coming to an end. It’s been going on for a long time, decades and decades. There’s a lot of dislike, unfortunately. So we’ve been in the middle trying to help them both out, see if we can get some organization and some peace, and I think probably that’s going to be happening.

We have Venezuela as you know has been very much in the news, and we’re sending supplies. Supplies are getting through a little bit more. It’s not easy. It’s hard to believe somebody would say let’s not do it.

What difference would that make except it’s great for his people to let it get through. But we’re sending a lot of supplies down to Venezuela. People are starving to death. And you would really think that the man in charge currently would let those supplies get through. We are getting them into some of the cities and some of the areas that need them most, and it’s not an easy job. It’s very difficult actually.

On North Korea we just left chairman Kim who had a really I think a very productive time. We thought and I thought and Secretary Pompeo felt that it wasn’t a good thing to be signing anything. I’m going to let Mike speak about it, but we literally just we spent pretty much all day with Kim Jong-un, who is — he’s quite a guy and quite a character. And I think our relationship is very strong.

But at this time we had some options, and at this time we decided not to do any of the options, and we’ll see where that goes. But it was — it was a very interesting two days. And I think actually it was a very productive two days. But sometimes you have to walk. And this was just one of those times, and I’ll let Mike speak to that for a couple of minutes, please.”


Secretary of State Mike Pompeo speaks

“Thank you, Mr. President.

We had been working, our teams — the team that that I brought to bear as well as the north Koreans for weeks so we could make a big step along the way towards what the two leaders had agreed to back in Singapore in June of last year. We made big progress, and indeed we made even more progress when the two leaders met over the last 24, 36 hours.

Unfortunately, we didn’t get all the way that ultimately made sense for the United States of America. I think chairman Kim was hopeful that we would. We asked him to do more. He was unprepared to do that, but I’m optimistic. I hope our teams will get together in the days and weeks ahead and work out. It’s a very complex problem. We have said since the beginning this would take time.

Our teams have gotten to know each other better. We know what some of the limits are and challenges are, and I think in the days and weeks ahead we can make progress so we can ultimately achieve what the world wants. I wish we could have gotten a little bit further, but I’m very optimistic that the progress that we made both in the runup to this summit as well as the progress that the two leaders made over these past two days put us in a position to get a really good outcome.

And the president and chairman Kim both felt good that they had made that progress, but couldn’t quite get along the line any further to make a deal that would have been bigger at this point. I hope we’ll do so in the weeks ahead.

Thank you, Mr. President.”

Sign up to receive our latest news!

By submitting this form, I agree to the terms.