“U.S. President Donald Trump said he had walked away from a nuclear deal at his summit with Kim Jong Un in Vietnam on Thursday because of unacceptable demands from the North Korean leader to lift punishing U.S.-led sanctions,” Reuters reported on Thursday.
“Trump said two days of talks in the capital Hanoi had made good progress in building relations and on the main issue of denuclearization, but it was important not to rush into a bad deal.”
“‘It was all about the sanctions,’ Trump said at a news conference after the talks were cut short. ‘Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that.'”
The move to back out was welcomed by the rest of Washington, including top Democrats like House Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) and Susan Rice, former national security adviser under Obama. Rice said in an interview with NPR, “[f]or the United States to have agreed to lift all sanctions in the absence of real and complete denuclearization would have been a tremendous mistake.”
“I think, actually, it was a very productive two days. But sometimes you have to walk, and this was just one of those times,” said President Trump at the same press conference in Hanoi, Vietnam.
You can watch the press conference and read the full transcript here: https://www.politico.com/story/2019/02/28/transcript-trump-press-conference-vietnam-1195529