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'No agreement' reached at Kim-Trump nuclear talks

  • Richard Carter and Sebastian Smith

    Agence France-Presse

Hanoi, Vietnam   /   Thu, February 28, 2019   /   02:09 pm
'No agreement' reached at Kim-Trump nuclear talks I come to bring peace: United States’ President Donald Trump waves a Vietnamese flag as he is greeted by students during a meeting with Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc at the Office of Government Hall in Hanoi on Wednesday. (Reuters/Leah Millis ). Usage: 0 (Reuters/Leah Millis )

The nuclear summit between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in Hanoi ended without an agreement Thursday, the White House said after the two leaders cut short their discussions.

They had "very good and constructive meetings" and "discussed various ways to advance denuclearisation and economic driven concepts", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said in a statement.

But she went on: "No agreement was reached at this time," adding that their "respective teams look forward to meeting in the future,"

No joint communique was issued, despite high expectations beforehand for progress.

In the original White House programme, a  "Joint Agreement Signing Ceremony" was scheduled as well as a working lunch for the two leaders. 

In the event, both men left the summit venue without a public signing ceremony and Trump moved up his news conference by two hours, sparking doubts about the progress made at the summit.

The Hanoi summit was supposed to build on their initial historic meeting at Singapore that critics said was more style over substance.

In Hanoi, the smiles and bonhomie remained as Trump touted the "special relationship" between the two but concrete statements were vague.

From the outset, Trump had appeared to downplay expectations of an immediate breakthrough in nuclear talks, saying he was in "no rush" to clinch a rapid deal and was content if a pause in missile testing continued.

He frequently dangled the prospect of a brighter economic future for a nuclear-free North Korea, at one point saying there was "AWESOME" potential.

As in Singapore, the two men put on a show of bonhomie, appeared to share jokes in front of reporters.

Looking relaxed but appearing to say little, they indulged in a poolside stroll Thursday around the gardens of the luxury Metropole Hotel, a colonial-era building that has played host to stars ranging from Charlie Chaplin to Brad Pitt.

It echoed a garden walkabout in Singapore, where the two men bonded over Trump's hulking car -- the "Beast" -- with the US president allowing the younger man a glimpse inside.