President Donald “Deals” Trump and North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un concluded their second summit on Thursday without coming to an agreement on denuclearization, The Hill reports. The lackluster results of this meeting in Hanoi, Vietnam, aren’t all that surprising considering that the 2018 Singapore summit ended with a statement signed by Trump and Kim promising to “work toward complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula”—but without any actual plans for next steps delineated.
This time around, when asked by a reporter if he was open to denuclearization, Kim replied through an interpreter, “If I’m not willing to do that, I won’t be here right now [sic].” However, the two leaders arrived at an impasse over sanctions.
“It was about the sanctions,” Trump explained at a press conference in Hanoi, according to The Hill. “Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that. They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that.”
As per usual, the walking, talking spray-tan discussed the summit as if it was a deal over another one of his gaudy hotels. “Sometimes you have to walk. This was just one of those times,” he said.
During the summit, Kim and Trump “discussed various ways to advance denuclearization and economic driven concepts,” according to a statement from White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders.
And it looks like this is just the beginning of more Kim-Trump meetings. Sanders noted, “No agreement was reached at this time, but their respective teams look forward to meeting in the future.”
Peace on the Korean peninsula is a very worthy goal. However, this summit proved to just be another ego-trip for Trump and Kim that gave the latter international legitimacy, despite Kim’s regime violating human rights on a massive scale. That’s not to say prison camps and forced labor are of much concern to our commander-in-chief. Trump said of North Korea, “I think it’s going to be an economic powerhouse. And it’s something I very much look forward to helping with.”
Of course he’s viewing this in purely economic terms.