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DPRK, U.S. leaders end Hanoi summit with no deal, more efforts needed in future

Editor: Zhang Jianfeng 丨Xinhua

03-01-2019 09:09 BJT

HANOI, Feb. 28 (Xinhua) -- Leaders of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and the United States ended their second summit in the Vietnamese capital Thursday with no deal reached.

Differences over details of denuclearization and easing of sanctions hindered Kim Jong Un, top leader of the DPRK, and U.S. President Donald Trump from reaching an agreement. However, their respective teams "look forward to meeting in the future."

SUMMIT CUT SHORT ABRUPTLY

The two leaders started their second day of the summit Thursday morning at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, where they had a brief one-on-one chat and a dinner for about two hours the previous night.

The event, which has been widely expected to produce some sort of agreement on denuclearization and easing sanctions on the DPRK, was cut short abruptly, with the planned working lunch and a signing ceremony for a possible joint document canceled.

A scheduled press conference by President Trump was subsequently brought forward by two hours to 2:00 p.m. local time (0700 GMT).

Trump told the press conference he cut short his summit with the DPRK leader as the two sides could not agree on details about denuclearization and sanctions.

The U.S. president said, "We had some options, and at this time we decided not to do any of the options, and we'll see where that goes."

Speaking at the same press conference, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the two leaders had made "real progress" during their talks. "We are certainly closer today than we were 36 hours ago," he told reporters.

After the earlier-than-scheduled ending of the summit, the White House said though the two leaders ended their meeting without any agreement, they had "very good and constructive meetings" and discussed various ways to "advance denuclearization and economic driven concepts," adding the two countries' respective teams looked forward to meeting in the future.

"GAP" BETWEEN DPRK AND U.S. DEMANDS

A gap remained between what the DPRK wanted and what the United States wanted, Trump said at the press conference, explaining the shrunken summit.

"They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn't do that," Trump said. "They were willing to de-nuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn't give up all of the sanctions for that. So we continue to work and we'll see."

The Hanoi summit, which started Wednesday, came around eight months since Kim and Trump's landmark Singapore summit last June, the first between incumbent leaders of the two countries since the 1950-53 Korean War.

In a joint statement from their first meeting, Trump pledged to provide security guarantees to the DPRK while Kim reaffirmed his firm and unwavering commitment to a complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

However, little progress has been made since the first summit due to differences between the two sides on the concept, ways and steps of denuclearization.

Wang Junsheng, a researcher on international studies with the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, told Xinhua on Thursday facts proved that the U.S. side will not make substantial concession before the DPRK takes concrete actions to denuclearize while the DPRK will not take further denuclearization steps without a reliable security guarantee.

"The settlement of the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue is not only a test for their sincerity, but also their wisdom," he added.

"JUST A TWIST AND TURN"

With joint efforts from the relevant parties, the political settlement of the Korean Peninsula issue has been facing a historic opportunity recently as a strong momentum for peace has been growing in the region.

Prior to the Hanoi summit, the DRPK has taken initial and unilateral steps toward denuclearization by destroying the tunnels of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site where it conducted all six of its nuclear tests, and a key missile engine facility.

On Thursday, when asked by media if he's ready to denuclearize, the DPRK leader answered that if not he wouldn't be here.

Throughout most part of the summit, Trump spoke positively about the prospects of talks with Kim. "I think your country has tremendous economic potential, unbelievable, unlimited," Trump said to Kim. The U.S. leader also expressed willingness to help the DPRK "make it happen."

However, the summit ended in a quite unexpected way, which means more efforts and patience are needed in the future to push ahead the process of denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. The DPRK and United States need to meet each other half way in that process.

Yang Xiyu, a researcher from the China Institute of International Studies, commented that result of the second DPRK-U.S. summit doesn't mean the termination of the denuclearization process on the Korean Peninsula, but just a twist and turn.

"It would be difficult to see a warm atmosphere between the two countries in near future, but with the two countries continuing negotiations and time passing by, there might be some turnarounds, since the denuclearization is in the interest of all parties concerned, including the DPRK," he said.

Regarding the second Kim-Trump summit, Lu Kang, a spokesman of China's Foreign Ministry, said the change of the Korean Peninsula situation over the past few decades has indicated that dialogues and consultations are the only way to solve the issue.

China hoped the DPRK and the United States continue to show sincerity, and respect and accommodate each other's legitimate concerns, Lu said, adding that China would also play its constructive role.

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