Trump holds out hope for deal with N. Korea

March 1, 2019

- U.S. President Donald Trump has voiced hope that a nuclear deal with North Korea will be reached in the future.

Trump held his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi on Wednesday and Thursday, but they failed to bridge their gaps on the issue of dismantling the North’s nuclear weapons program and removing sanctions on the regime.

“I wasn’t satisfied and perhaps he wasn’t satisfied,” Trump said in an interview with Fox News on Thursday. “Good relationship, but I decided that this wasn’t the right time to sign something.”

Trump said it wouldn’t have been good for the U.S. and “frankly, he can look at it the same way.”

The two sides have given conflicting accounts, with Trump telling a news conference that the North demanded the removal of all sanctions and the North countering that it asked for partial sanctions relief in exchange for the complete dismantlement of its main nuclear facility.

“They wanted to denuke certain areas, and I wanted everything,” Trump said. “I didn’t want to give up the sanctions unless we had a real program. They’re not ready for that, and I understand that fully, I really do. They spent a lot of time building it.”

It’s a “much tougher deal” to satisfy the U.S. goal of complete and fully verified denuclearization, Trump said, and maybe “it won’t get made,” but “that’s the deal that we should have.”

“I have a feeling something down the line will happen. And it will happen, it will be good,” he said. “We’ll get something worked out eventually.”

The U.S. president again expressed his affection for the North Korean leader, saying they like each other and get along well.

“He’s a character. He’s a real personality. He’s very smart. He’s sharp as you can be. And he’s a real leader, and he’s pretty mercurial. I don’t say that necessarily in a bad way, but he’s a pretty mercurial guy,” Trump said.

Trump later wrote on Twitter and reiterated that his relationship with Kim is “very good.”

“We had very substantive negotiations with Kim Jong Un – we know what they want and they know what we must have,” he said on Twitter. “Relationship very good, let’s see what happens!”