Published: Mon, March 04, 2019
World Media | By Shelia Harmon

In a summit first, Kim Jong Un takes United States media questions

In a summit first, Kim Jong Un takes United States media questions

A peace declaration would amount to a political statement, ostensibly teeing up talks for a formal peace treaty that would involve other nations.

Analysts say it remains unclear what exactly Mr Kim means by denuclearisation.

He said he hoped these talks would be successful.

Asked by a reporter if he was "walking back" on denuclearization demands, Trump said, "No". The North Korean leader was scheduled to meet with top Vietnamese leaders on Friday and leave Saturday on his armoured train for the long return trip, through China, to North Korea.

The president met with Kim last June for their first summit together in Singapore, where Trump was ostensibly working on North Korean denuclearization.

After a 40-minute private meeting, the leaders went for a stroll on the Hotel Metropole's lush grounds, chatting as they walked by a swimming pool before being joined by aides to continue talks.

"Speed is not important", Trump said. "I very much appreciate no testing of nuclear rockets, missiles, any of it", Mr Trump said, adding that he had "great respect" for Mr Kim.

In May, Kim released three United States citizens detained in North Korea, which Trump hailed as a "positive gesture of goodwill".

Trump indicated a more flexible stance in the run-up to Hanoi, saying he was in no rush as long as North Korea, which has not tested a nuclear weapon or intercontinental ballistic missile since 2017, maintained that freeze. "From what I feel right now, I do have a feeling that good results will come out".

Kim added that the "whole world" was watching the talks and suggested that, for some, the image of the two "sitting side by side" must resemble "a fantasy movie".

"I am always ready to sit down again with the U.S. president at any time and will make efforts to produce an outcome that the worldwide community would welcome", Kim said - before issuing a warning.

Trump reiterated North Korea's potential, if a deal can be done, saying the isolated country could be an "economic powerhouse".

"But we couldn't do that", the president said.

The president's closing news conference was hurriedly moved up, and he departed for Washington more than two hours ahead of schedule.

Earlier the White House said Trump and Kim would have an agreement signing ceremony at the conclusion of the two-day summit which wraps up Thursday.

After a "joint agreement signing ceremony" Trump plans a news conference at 3:50 p.m. Hanoi time (0850 GMT).

Republicans blocked it. The White House has never provided information on what Putin and Trump talked about.

It's d-day, where the 2nd joint agreement between North Korea and the US on denuclearization and establishing ties will come out.

While North Korea's official media said Kim and Trump had chose to continue talks, its Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui has struck a more negative tone, telling reporters Kim "might lose his willingness to pursue a deal".

Mr Panetta, who also led the Central Intelligence Agency under former President Barack Obama, was echoing a point made by some in the diplomatic community that the United States should accept that North Korea's nuclear weapons programme has progressed too far to expect Mr Kim to give it up entirely.

Trump's statement could mean any US efforts to dismantle Pyongyang's program, including the core nuclear program at Yongbyon, could be postponed.

The breakdown denied Trump a much-needed triumph amid growing domestic turmoil back home, including congressional testimony this week by his former personal lawyer Michael Cohen, who called Trump a "racist" and "con man" and claimed prior knowledge that WikiLeaks would release emails that would damage Hillary Clinton's campaign in 2016.

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