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2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit

The 2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit, commonly known as the Hanoi Summit, was a two-day summit meeting between North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump,[1] held at the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27–28, 2019. This was the second meeting between the leaders of the DPRK and the United States, following the first meeting in June 2018 in Singapore.

2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit
Hanoi Summit
DPRK–USA Hanoi Summit (US logo).jpg
Logo used by the United States
Official Logo of DPRK-USA Hanoi Summit-Vietnam-2019.jpg
Logo used by Vietnam
President Trump's Trip to Vietnam (33352861498).jpg
President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un shaking hands at the start of the summit[1]
Host country Vietnam
DateFebruary 27–28, 2019
Venue(s)Metropole Hanoi, Hanoi
ParticipantsNorth Korea Kim Jong-un
United States Donald Trump
Follows2018 North Korea–United States Singapore Summit
Websitedprk-usasummit2019.mofa.gov.vn
2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit
North Korean name
Chosŏn'gŭl
조미 2차 수뇌상봉
Hancha
朝美 二次 首腦相逢
South Korean name
Hangul
북미 2차 정상회담
Hanja
北美 二次 頂上會談

On February 28, 2019, the White House announced that the summit was cut short and that no agreement was reached. Trump later elaborated that it was because North Korea wanted an end to all sanctions.[2] North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho asserted that the country only sought a partial lifting of five United Nations sanctions placed on North Korea between 2016 and 2017.[3][4]

Contents

BackgroundEdit

The first North Korea–United States summit between Kim and Trump took place in June 2018 in Singapore with the objectives of resolving the long-term Korean conflict[5] involving ICBM nuclear weapons, and denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. A series of bilateral summits were held between North Korea's Kim Jong-un, China's Xi Jinping, South Korea's Moon Jae-in, and Donald Trump of the United States.

AnnouncementEdit

The White House confirmed the planned summit between North Korean WPK Chairman Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump on September 11, 2018. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the DPRK and the U.S. were "working diligently" to make sure the conditions were right for the summit.[6][7]

Trump announced the host country, Vietnam, and the dates, February 27–28, during his second State of the Union Address on February 5, 2019[8] and later announced that the summit would be in Hanoi.[9]

Vietnam's reactions and preparationsEdit

 
US, North Korea and Vietnam flags on Nguyen Chi Thanh street.

Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh visited North Korea at the invitation of DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho from February 12–14. The visit came ahead of the summit between Chairman Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump planned to take place in Hà Nội, Vietnam, on February 27 and 28, a spokeswoman from the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on Twitter.[10]

Developments since June 2018 summitEdit

 
Moon Jae-in arriving at the Pyongyang International Airport for the third inter-Korean summit
 
President Moon and Chairman Kim with the "Pyongyang Joint Declaration of September 2018"

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appointed Stephen Biegun as United States Special Representative for North Korea on August 23, 2018.[11]

In September 2018, The New York Times reported that "North Korea is making nuclear fuel and building weapons as actively as ever" but is doing so quietly, "allowing Mr. Trump to portray a denuclearization effort as on track."[12] Two months later, The Times reported that North Korea appeared to be engaged in a "great deception" by offering to dismantle one missile base while developing sixteen others. The Times reported this expansion program was long known to American intelligence but contradicted Trump’s public assertions that his diplomacy was yielding results.[13] Immediately following the June 2018 summit, Trump had declared "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea ... sleep well tonight!"[14]

A third inter-Korean summit was held on September 18–20, 2018 seeking a breakthrough in the hampered talks with the U.S. and a solution for the denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula.[15][16][17]

In November 2018, North Korea repeated its demand that U.S. economic sanctions be lifted as a condition for proceeding with talks, while the Trump administration continued to insist that North Korea make concessions first. Meetings between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials were scheduled, canceled due to disagreements, and then rescheduled.[18] The February 2019 summit was confirmed after Kim Yong Chol, North Korea’s top negotiator, met with Trump in the Oval Office on January 18, 2019.[19]

In the days leading up to the summit, Trump said that former president Barack Obama had been on the verge of going to war with North Korea, and had told Trump so during the transition, suggesting that Trump had pulled the U.S. back from the brink of war; former Obama aides denied these claims.[20] Trump also suggested that he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for his diplomacy with North Korea, with the U.S. informally asking Japan to nominate Trump, according to Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, which Shinzo Abe did according to the newspaper but Abe did not confirm or deny the reports as it has been tradition to keep nominations confidential.[21][22][23] Noting that one of North Korea's primary objectives is to replace the Korean Armistice Agreement with a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War, Scott Snyder, the senior fellow for Korea studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, observed, "What I worry about is the president may want the peace most — more than the denuclearization...[o]ne of the big worries that people have is that somehow the president is going to trade the alliance for the prospect of a Nobel Peace Prize."[24]

Top American intelligence officials testified to Congress in January 2019 that it was unlikely North Korea would fully dismantle its nuclear arsenal, and Trump national security advisor John Bolton continued to believe North Korea could not be trusted and denuclearization efforts would fail. Trump has asserted that North Korea’s pause of weapons testing since the Singapore summit was a sign of progress, but Bruce Klingner of the Heritage Foundation said there had been longer testing pauses during previous administrations.[25]

Going into the summit, wide gaps persisted between the two countries, including exactly what denuclearization means. In January, Biegun had repeated the official American stance was that sanctions on North Korea would not be lifted until the country had fully denuclearized. On January 31, 2019, Biegun indicated that American negotiators might not demand that North Korea provide a full inventory of its nuclear and missile programs as a first step toward denuclearization, a demand that North Korea had been resisting.[26]

PreparationsEdit

Preparatory talksEdit

 
United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo with North Korea's Chairman Kim Jong-un in Pyongyang.

On October 7, 2018, Pompeo traveled to Pyongyang to negotiate the second summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim.[27][28][29] Pompeo later met with Moon in Seoul to inform him of the upcoming summit.[28][30]

On January 8, 2019, Kim Jong-un met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to consult with him on the possibility of the Kim–Trump summit in Vietnam.[31] On January 18, 2019, The White House announced that President Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un would meet for the second time in February.[32][33][34] On February 5, 2019, Trump announced during his State Of The Union address that the summit would take place on February 27–28 in Vietnam.[35] On February 16, 2019, Reuters reported that Kim would arrive in Vietnam on February 25 ahead of the summit.[36]

Train journey to VietnamEdit

 
Kim Jong-un stayed in Melia Hanoi Hotel during the summit

Kim Jong-un departed from Pyongyang on February 23, according to images released by the KCNA news agency. The exact itinerary was kept secret.[37][38] The 4,500 kilometres (2,800 mi) trip took about 60 hours. The train arrived in Đồng Đăng railway station of the Vietnamese border city of Đồng Đăng on Tuesday February 26, and Kim was scheduled to travel to Hanoi by vehicle.[39]

Some experts analyzed the reason for long train trip instead of swift air travel, Kim Jong-un opts to follow his grandfather Kim Il Sung's footsteps in 1958 to Vietnam through China[40] by using the train through a long journey.[41][42]

Meeting locationEdit

Locations consideredEdit

Regarding the release from Bloomberg and the South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo anticipated the location of the second Trump–Kim Summit as Vietnam's capital city, Hanoi, because Vietnam is a long-standing partner of DPRK, and there is also an excellent foreign relationship between Vietnam and the US.[43] During the 2019 State of the Union Address, President Trump announced Vietnam as the host of the second meeting between the two leaders.[44][45]

City choiceEdit

 
The Presidential Palace in Hanoi; the second Trump-Kim summit location was confirmed to take place in Hanoi, Vietnam

There was a list of several cities that were considered potential to host this event. It includes government direct-administered cities (Hanoi, Đà Nẵng, Hồ Chí Minh City) and some other places like Hạ Long, Nha Trang, Phú Quốc. However, Hanoi was said to be the best candidate for many reasons, such as being presented with the title “City for Peace” by the UNESCO, being the capital of Vietnam, and being a favorable place for Vietnamese leaders to meet DPRK leaders and USA leaders.

It was reported that when the city in Vietnam was still being discussed, the main contenders were Hanoi (favored by North Korea because it has its Embassy there) and Da Nang (favored by the United States because the 2017 APEC Vietnam summit was held there).[46]

On February 8, 2019, President Trump confirmed that Hanoi was to host the summit meeting.[47]

Venue choiceEdit

 
Picture of Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi; DPRK officials have repeatedly inspected the potential venue for the Hanoi summit

DPRK officials had repeatedly investigated the Government Guesthouse and the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Hanoi's first international hotel. The summit was held at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi.

Summit meetingEdit

First dayEdit

Meeting with Vietnamese leadersEdit

 
President Donald Trump and General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng, February 27, 2019

President Trump met Vietnamese President and General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng around at 11:42 am local time. They watched the Vietnamese airline executives sign a series of business deals with U.S. companies. Some examples of contracts were that VietJet Aviation JSC announced it would acquire 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, and also signed an agreement to purchase CFM International LEAP engines and maintenance services from General Electric. Bamboo Airways signed a deal to buy 10 Boeing 787-9 aircraft.[48]

President Trump also had a meeting with Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyễn Xuân Phúc on February 27.

One-on-one meetingEdit

At Hanoi’s Metropole Hotel, Trump and Kim had a one-on-one meeting for 30 minutes on Wednesday evening. They started the summit at 6:30 pm local time (6:30am Eastern Standard Time) with a handshake and then participated in a one-on-one meeting, with interpreters only.[49][50]

DinnerEdit

 
U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un having dinner, along with their delegation

President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim started with a social dinner in Hanoi on Wednesday.[1] There were a few key attendees at the dinner; seated at the round table were U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, DPRK Vice Chairman Kim Yong-chol, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Yong-ho. President Trump assured North Korea a "tremendous future for your country" in his initial comments with Chairman Kim. Chairman Kim described the second summit as a "courageous political decision" by Trump and also added that there had been "a lot of thinking, effort, and patience" between now and previous June summit in Singapore.[51]

On the first night of the summit, the White House announced that Trump and Kim would sign a “joint agreement” the next afternoon.[52][53]

Second dayEdit

One-on-one meetingEdit

During the one-on-one meeting in Hanoi, Kim was asked by a reporter if he would consider opening a US liaison office in Pyongyang. Kim initially hesitated to answer the question and asked Trump to excuse the press from the summit room, but Trump urged Kim to answer the question, to which he responded through an interpreter that the idea was “welcomeable”. Trump acknowledged the response as a positive one. After that, another reporter asked if Kim was willing to shut down his nuclear program, to which he responded, "If I’m not willing to do that, I wouldn’t be here right now." The leaders then went into a closed-room meeting. However, the planned working lunch between Trump and Kim was canceled, as well as the potential joint signing ceremony. After preliminary negotiations between Trump and Kim went over a period of time, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters waiting to cover the lunch that it had been called off.[51]

One month after the summit ended, Reuters reported that on the second day of the summit Trump passed Kim a note that bluntly called for North Korea to surrender all its nuclear weapons and fuel, in similar fashion to the “Libya model,” a proposal the North Koreans had repeatedly rejected. The scheduled ceremonial luncheon was then abruptly canceled and the summit ended.[54]

End of summitEdit

 
President Donald Trump and Secretary Mike Pompeo at the press conference after the summit

The White House on Thursday, February 28, 2019, announced that the summit was cut short and that no agreement was reached.[2] White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not tell reporters why the schedule was changed and whether there was going to be a signing ceremony. This unexpected turn of events caused stocks on the South Korea stock exchange to fall.[2] President Trump said in a press conference after the summit in Hanoi that the summit was cut short because North Korea wanted an end to economics sanctions. President Trump elaborated by saying "Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that," Trump said. "We had to walk away from that particular suggestion. We had to walk away from that."[2]

Hours later, in a rare move, North Korean officials called a news conference. North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho offered a different account of his country's position compared to Trump; that North Korea had proposed only a partial lifting of sanctions. Of a total of 11 United Nations sanctions, Ri stated that North Korea wanted 5 sanctions originally imposed in 2016 and 2017 lifted. In exchange, Ri said that North Korea offered to "permanently and completely" dismantle its primary nuclear facility in Yongbyon, and that American experts would be allowed to observe. Ri also quoted North Korea as proposing to put in writing that the country would end all nuclear tests and long-range missile tests. Ri continued that the North Koreans saw that no agreement could be made after the United States demanded one further measure in addition to destroying the Yongbyon nuclear facility. Lastly, Ri concluded that North Korea's proposal would not be changed.[55][56][57][58][59] According to NK News, Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui made the proposal to dismantle Yongbyon just before the talks collapsed, but the U.S. team walked out when Choe was unable to give details.[60]

During the press conference after the summit, Trump discussed American student Otto Warmbier, who was imprisoned for 17 months by North Korea for theft, and who died shortly after being returned comatose to the U.S. Trump said he believed Kim's word that Kim did not personally know about Warmbier's alleged poor treatment when Warmbier was in North Korean custody. Trump also argued that it was not to Kim's benefit to allow Warmbier to be treated poorly. Comparisons were made to Trump's previous promotions of the denial of Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the responsibility for Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and the denial of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the responsibility of the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi.[61]

News reportEdit

NBC News reported on the second day of the summit that American negotiators had dropped their demand that North Korea provide a detailed inventory of its nuclear and missile programs. NBC also quoted U.S. official's speech: the current focus of deal is the Yongbyon nuclear reactor. Nuclear scientist Dr. Siegfried Hecker claimed: "Yongbyon is the heart of North Korea's nuclear program, and if we are completely dismantling the Yongbyon nuclear facility, North Korea would never be able to make plutonium there again".[62]

ReactionsEdit

Pre-summitEdit

Cheong Seong-chang, vice president of research planning at the Sejong Institute in South Korea, said: "After the first Trump–Kim summit, for 260 days, they did not waste their timeliness. Instead, they continuously finalized their negotiation strategies for the two leaders' agreement and terms for the next step to be discussed on the second Trump–Kim summit."[63]

BBC News believed that DPRK Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un could potentially learn from Vietnam's social, political and economic history[64][65] during the second Trump-Kim summit. While the country has strict rules against political liberalization, it is fairly lax in their social, religious, and economic guidelines. Citizens were able to travel to neighboring countries often. Vietnam also pursued multi-front foreign policies so they would not be dependent on just one economy and built modern systems for banking and finance. According to the BBC, the DPRK can also learn from Vietnam's mistakes in the past regarding managing their natural resources and handling political unrest. The BBC believes these are some cases the DPRK could learn from Vietnam's practice to help them in improving their economy by attracting foreign investors and developing closer relations with other countries. It is also assumed by the BBC that Vietnam's economic reform is a better pattern for the DPRK to follow than China's.[65]

Al Jazeera assumed that the impact of China on the second Trump–Kim summit would be significant. The relationship between China and North Korea is centered on "mutual benefit", but it differs from "mutual trust".[66] Australian professor Carlyle Thayer claimed China and the DPRK are of the corresponding inclination after Kims' four visits to China and "it indicates some kind of coordination".[66] China believes that it is impossible for North Korea to abruptly destroy nuclear missiles. However, it is hoped that North Korea's nuclear missile program will be shut down gradually, as economic sanctions against North Korea will be eased.[66]

Andrew Kim, former head of the CIA's Korea Mission Center, believes in Supreme Leader Kim's genuine desire to achieve denuclearization and get a concession from the United States. In a speech Andrew Kim made on Friday, February 22, at Stanford University, Kim said that Supreme Leader Kim told United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "[that] he is a father and husband and he does not want his children to live their lives carrying nuclear weapons on their back".[67] He also believes that the DPRK tried to strike a deal with previous administrations, but they waited too long, and they aim to finalize the deal with the Trump administration before it's too late. Kim assessed that the closure of the Yongbyon nuclear facility will be the beginning of full denuclearization and that this could lead to a peace treaty.[citation needed] The YongByon facility is known to be the center of nuclear development and research in North Korea.[68]

The Sydney Morning Herald reported that Kim's previous propaganda was changed into patriotism and economy, and in improving the relationship between the United States, China and South Korea.[69]

Post-summitEdit

South Korea and Japan both supported Trump's decision to cut the summit short. However, a spokesman for South Korean President Moon Jae-in said "We do regret that President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un did not reach a complete agreement at today's summit,” but also that the summit "made more meaningful progress than any other time in the past."[70]

A Monmouth University poll found that while 65% of those surveyed — including 42% of Democrats — agreed that holding the summit was a good idea, 44% said it was likely to help reduce the North Korean nuclear threat.[71]

Jung Da-min, Staff Reporter at The Korea Times newspaper, believes that the Hanoi summit was not a total loss since it still resulted in diplomacy between the two countries. Though no concrete agreement regarding denuclearization was reached, DPRK President Kim was quoted last Tuesday (5 March) that he was committed to the complete denuclearization of his country. However, the description of denuclearization seems to be different between the U.S. and North Korea, which was why Stephen Biegun, Special Representative for North Korea, advised that the U.S. will not accept a “phased denuclearization”. Even though no agreement was signed in Hanoi, both countries are open to future talks, which shows that some agreement was made regarding few agendas, like the installation of a liaison office in Pyongyang, North Korea.[72]

Hwang Jihwan, a Professor in the Department of International Relations at the University of Seoul, believes the no-deal outcome of the Hanoi summit was because both parties asked for more than what each could give. However, a no-deal is better than a bad-deal, and suggests that the two leaders should aim for realistic goals in future summits. Asking for huge deals from each other would not yield favorable results for both sides, but working on smaller, workable agreements that would be meritorious for both countries was better than leaving the negotiation table empty-handed.[73]

Dr. Chiew-Ping Hoo, a professor at the National University of Malaysia, said that the negotiations at the Hanoi summit changed the minute John Bolton was added at the eleventh-hour to the panel. He advised to change the goal-post from the YongByon Nuclear site, to add other sites that produced weapons of mass destruction. Trump had to agree with Bolton’s advice due to U.S. domestic issues, which resulted in a no-deal outcome for the summit. She also believes that North Korea is not convinced that changing the deal is the right course, but to return to the pre-Hanoi agreement details.[74]

Former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, Doug Bandow, compared the DPPK and US relations to that of Reagan and Gorbachev, where the agreement resulted in the end of the Cold War. President Trump was demanding unrealistically for President Kim Jong Un to dismantle all his nuclear facilities, whereas President Kim was only agreeing to shutting down the YongByon Nuclear facility in exchange for a partial lifting of a few UN sanctions against his country. Asking continuously for an all nukes for sanctions deal is deemed as malicious in its intent and illogical. This will put a strain in the US-North Korean relationship, which was volatile in the past, and could result in more problems for Washington and its allies in Asia.[75]

Douglas Dillon, Professor of Government at the Harvard Kennedy School, and former director of Harvard’s Belfer Center, Graham T. Allison, believes that the Hanoi summit is not a complete failure, despite some public opinion, and even compared this to the Reagan-Gorbachev era. President Reagan also had to deal with negative public opinion regarding his dealings with the USSR, but he was able to remove all of the Soviet Union’s intermediate nuclear-armed missiles with an INF deal. Compared to the USSR, North Korea is also not a normalized country, but President Trump was able to deal with the top leader of North Korea, President Kim, something neither Bush nor Obama were able to do in their combined 16 year term.[76]

US Senior Expert on North Korea, Frank Aum, said that future goals of the Trump Administration should be the founding of smaller deals that resulted from the Hanoi summit. Deals that include the declaration of the end of the Korean war, exchange of liaison offices in both PyongYang and Washington, some sanctions relief, and verified dismantling of some of North Korea's nuclear facilities (Yongbyon, Punggye-ri, and Dongchang-ri) are attainable. Trump’s “Big Deal” approach to North Korea would have been unrealistic, since it is not possible to achieve complete denuclearization in two years. He also said that some of the road-maps to establishing complete denuclearization might be the most hopeful solution.[77]

Reuters revealed the existence of a document handed to President Kim by President Trump that may have caused the collapse of the Hanoi summit. The document and its contents were first proposed by Bolton in 2004 and, according to Jenny Town, Washington-based, think-tank and North Korean expert, has been rejected more than once and,”... to bring it up again… would rather be insulting.” She also said that the US should have learned that this wasn’t effective diplomacy, and shows they haven’t learned how to properly negotiate.[78]

According to Abby Bard, a research associate for Asia policy at the Center for American Progress, President Trump’s and President Kim’s teams need critical space between them to build trust and verify the intentions between the two parties. Without regular communication from both sides, it will be impossible to reach an agreement as they are both skeptical of one another’s intent. Stephen Biegun did not meet with his North Korean counterpart before the summit at Hanoi took place, which resulted in the meeting not having enough support for negotiations. Meetings between both teams are needed to arrange the details that would result in bigger bargains without miscalculations and misunderstandings. In order for the two leaders to reach a deal, their teams need to work together.[79]

Before the end of 2019, nine months left for the Trump administration to negotiate a deal with DPRK, since Donald Trump will need to run for re-election in 2020, the time to strike a bargain with President Kim is getting short with very little breathing space for another painstaking dialogue.[opinion] Despite the collapse of the Hanoi summit, Katharine Moon, professor of Political Science and the Wasserman Chair of Asian Studies at Wellesley College, said that there were good things that came out of it: It has opened doors for further negotiations in the future, and these talks require working-level counterparts that aim to pursue respective and mutual interests between the two countries to breakthrough their engagement. North Korea needs to stay at the negotiating table for economic reasons, as long as the Trump administration stays committed to continuing the dialogue.[80]

Se Young Jang, a fellow at the Stanton Nuclear Security at MIT’s Security Studies Program, said timing is crucial compared to the previous Clinton Administration’s Agreed Framework with North Korea that failed to proceed. Trump and Kim both revealed details of the Hanoi summit, which leaves very little room for flexible compromises for future negotiations This means another summit would might be more realistic after the working-level renew their trust-building process. To achieve this, the role of South Korea as a bridge-maker or mediator is more significant than ever before.[81]

U.S. Secretary of State Pompeo said in an interview with CBS on April 5 that he believed that the Hanoi summit was an opportunity for both the U.S. and DPRK to have a deeper understanding of each other, and hoped that a third Trump-Kim summit will happen in the near future. He also believes that South Korea is helping with the denuclearization efforts, and he understands that many North and South Koreans have the same blood and they are family.[82][83]

A meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin is confirmed to be held on 25–26 April 2019. Top U.S. envoy Stephen Biegun is scheduled to visit Russia that month to discuss the full denuclearization of North Korea. However, there are unconfirmed reports that President Kim and President Putin will be meeting soon. President Putin is going to attend the One Belt, One Road forum in Beijing on April 26 to 27, and the meeting between Kim and Putin is expected to happen before or shortly after this forum. Perhaps this meeting with Russia is what President Kim believes might help ease international and unilateral sanctions for his country, which will help improve North Korea’s weakened economy.[84][85] Russian President Putin believed that DPRK Kim Jong Un needs international security guarantees to give up nuclear arsenal and program.[86][87]

South Korean President, Moon Jae-in, is ready to meet with North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, for a fourth time to try and save the stalled denuclearization deals between the US and DPRK. President Kim, however, has asked President Moon to support a common goal to unite North and South Korea, rather than support the United States. In previous talks, both Leaders have agreed to reconnect the railways and roads that run through both their countries, normalize a factory park in Kaesong Industrial Zone, and allow South Korean tourists to once again visit the Mount Kumgang resort. However, this joint project is still waiting for the partial relief of U.N. sanctions to begin operations.[88] South Korean President, Moon is also planning to inviting DPRK leader Kim to Asean-South Korea commemorative summit in November 2019[89]

Despite the unresolved Hanoi deal, President Trump is optimistic that a denuclearization deal can still be achieved from North Korea. The summit taught them the limits of top-down diplomacy, and discussions between working-level officials from both sides is necessary, and while no concrete agreement was met, they were still able to establish something that can be molded into a deal both leaders will agree to in the future. The DPRK has yet to respond to senior working-level talks, but President Kim prefers to deal directly with Trump. President Trump can go back to the U.N. and ask for a new Security Council resolution authorizing to suspend some of the sanctions against North Korea along with their dismantling of their Nuclear weapons program, but with snapback provisions. It is better than the all-or-nothing option, since it will allow the United States flexibility to offer the sanctions relief without giving up all its advantages.[90] DPRK Leader Kim said that "We maintain good relations with U.S. president, as to be able to exchange letters asking about health anytime if we want" and He is also willing to attend another summit with Washington by the end of the year 2019. but Kim desires to the U.S. comes to the table with a constructive attitude for the nuclear deal.[91][92]

Joseph Yun, until March 2018 the American Special Representative for North Korea Policy, said of the summit's outcome, “This really speaks to the lack of preparation. You cannot draft a joint statement out of nothing. They never quite got around to building a consensus around sanctions, and that led to the deadlock.”[93]

Veteran diplomacy and national security journalist Michael Gordon reported in The Wall Street Journal: "If the two sides had opted for the traditional bottom-up approach to diplomacy, their diplomats would have worked to close the divide and only arranged for a summit when they appeared to be within striking distance of an agreement. However, U.S. and North Korean diplomats have had only intermittent meetings since the June summit, and both sides bet they would be more successful by pressing their case at another summit. Mr. Kim calculated that Mr. Trump would be more flexible in agreeing to lift sanctions than his subordinates. Mr. Trump, for his part, assumed that he was the best person to pursue the art of the nuclear deal."[52]

Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations think tank, stated, “No deal is better than a bad deal, and the president was right to walk. But this should not have happened. A busted summit is the risk you run when too much faith is placed in personal relations with a leader like Kim, when the summit is inadequately prepared, and when the president had signaled he was confident of success.”[94]

US President, Donald Trump, got negative reviews for his stance regarding the Otto Warmbier incident.[95] His supportive remarks for the North Korean leader in his speeches while negotiating denuclearization, was not received well even by the Warmbier family who were grateful to him after their son’s return.[96] In the case of Otto Warmbier, President Trump said that it's a very "delicate balance," since he is trying to establish a big denuclearization deal with Chairman Kim, but at the same time, he feels for the Warmbier family. In the speech he gave to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), he mentioned that there is positive developments in negotiating the return of American prisoners in North Korea as well as the remains of soldiers killed in the Korean War. The improvement of his relationship with Kim is also in keeping with the U.S. National interest and that further progress is to be expected in the next couple of months.[97][98]

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she was glad the president walked away from the second summit with the DPRK without a joint agreement. She also emphasized that "What we want is the denuclearization of North Korea," and she also believes that, although the DPRK wanted the sanctions lifted, but because they didn't agree to give up their nuclear weapons entirely, it was right that President Trump decided not to sign any deal.[99]

The Chosun Ilbo, a major South Korean newspaper, reported on May 30, 2019 that Kim Hyok-chol, the lead working-level negotiator for North Korea at the Hanoi summit, was executed in March 2019, along with four other diplomats. The paper also reported that Kim Yong-chol, a top aide to Kim Jong-un, was sentenced to hard labor.[100][101][102] Photos were later released on June 3, 2019 showing Kim Yong-chol alive and attending a musical performance alongside Kim Jong Un and Ri Sol-ju[103][104]

Plans for another summitEdit

On June 12, 2019,[105] Trump received a letter from Kim Jong-un which he described as "beautiful."[106][105] On June 26, 2019, it was announced that talks were underway to hold a third US-North Korean summit.[107] Trump previously tweeted in April 2019 that a third summit “would be good.”[108] An undated photo was also released by the North Korean government of Kim Jong-un reading a letter from Trump.[106] Kim described the letter as "excellent" and described Trump as the "supreme leader" of the United States.[106]

Satellite imagery of Sohae Launching StationEdit

Days after conclusion of the summit, private satellite imagery indicated that reconstruction of the Sohae ICBM launch site, which North Korea previously appeared to be dismantling, may have been underway even during the summit, and the site could be operational.[109][110][111] A senior State Department official acknowledged “some level of reassembly” but stopped short of concluding the site was operational.[112] Jenny Town, managing editor of 38 North, the influential site devoted to analysis of North Korea, remarked, “Given how much has been done at this site, it looks like more than a couple days’ worth of activity...It’s hard to say if it happened immediately after the summit and they just rushed everything — I guess it’s possible — but it’s more likely that it started just before.”[113] South Korean National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon said there was recent transport vehicle activity at the Sanumdong ICBM factory.[114] Some analysts believed that the renewed activity at Sohae and Sanumdong was designed to pressure Washington back to the negotiating table, rather than to actually restart the nuclear testing program.[115]

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

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External linksEdit