Here’s all what you need to know about Trump-Kim’s Hanoi Summit

T-shirts with U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are displayed for sale along with American and North Korean flags in Vietnam/Imag: Star and Strips

The Hanoi Summit was two-day summit meeting from 27-28 February between North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un and United States President Donald Trump. After the last year’s positive outcome at the Singapore Summit, there was a lot of anticipation for a deeper and long-term agreement between the two leaders at the Hanoi Summit. But in a sudden turn of events on the second day of the summit, the leaders from the two countries were not able to come to an agreement.

Background

The Singapore Summit which happened last year was a milestone in the United States (US) and North Korea relations. U.S President Trump became the first sitting president to meet with a leader of North Korea. Both of the leaders agreed to work towards the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula. While President Trump talked about halting of military drills with South Korea and his counterpart’s assurance that North Korean missile facility would be dismantled. After the summit, there were several reports that North Korea is quietly working on building several missile facilities in the garb of dismantling one of them. Though in October 2018, Mike Pompeo met with North Korean Leader Kin Jong-un for a possible second summit reiterating Washington’s efforts towards denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula. The second meeting was confirmed after North Korea’s top negotiator met President Trump at the Oval Office in January. And U.S President Trump officially announced during his State of Union address that the summit will take place on 27-28 February in Vietnam.

Hanoi Summit

On the first day of the summit, both of the leaders sounded positive for a possible agreement. North Korea Leader Kim said, “…But here we are today, sitting next to each other, and that gives us hope that we will be successful with time. And I will really try to make that happen.” While President Trump reiterated his future positive outlook for North Korea, “I think that your country has tremendous economic potential. Unbelievable. Unlimited. And I think that you will have a tremendous future with your country – a great leader. And I look forward to watching it happen and helping it to happen. And we will help it to happen.” Both of the statements meant that some agreement would surely fructify during this summit.

This changed completely the very next day, the extended bilateral meeting between the leaders is cut short. The White House says “No agreement was reached at this time, but their respective teams look forward to meeting in the future.” Then came the statements from both the countries leaders and representatives which were conflicting in nature. President Trump said, “ [North Korea] wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that. 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, …they have to do more.” While North Korean Foreign minister Ri Yong Ho said, “We offered a realistic proposal in this meeting…If the US removes partial sanctions, namely those that hamper the civilian economy and the livelihood of our people in particular, we will permanently and completely dismantle all the nuclear material production facilities in the Yongbyon area, including plutonium and uranium in the presence of US experts and by the joint work of technicians from both countries.”

It is clear that the United States wanted more nuclear or missile sites to be dismantled by North Korea. But it seems the North Korean side was not ready for the same. It is this disagreement which led to the fallout among the parties at the summit. In terms of progress in relations between the nations, there have been reduced hostilities and more opportunities for continued interaction between the two countries. Even though both sides have not mentioned the possibility of a future summit but they have reiterated that both the parties will continue to talk with each at lower levels.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team

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Utkal Tripathy

Utkal Tripathy is a Former Research Intern at The Kootneeti. (Feb - March 2019). He can be reached at utkalt@yahoo.com

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