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The Latest: NK state media says summit deepened trust

March 1, 2019
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President Donald Trump speaks to service members at Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson, Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Anchorage, Alaska., during a refueling stop as he returns from Hanoi. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

HANOI, Vietnam (AP) — The Latest on the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (all times local):

7:30 a.m. Friday

North Korea’s state media says the second summit between leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump helped deepen “mutual respect and trust” between the countries as they work toward resolving the nuclear standoff and improving bilateral relations.

The report by the Korean Central News Agency on Friday comes hours after senior North Korean officials disputed Trump’s account of why his summit with Kim collapsed, saying the North didn’t call for a full removal of sanctions but demanded partial relief in exchange for shuttering its main nuclear complex.

The KCNA says Trump and Kim had a “constructive and candid” exchange of views and agreed to keep in close touch for the “denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the epochal development” in bilateral relations.

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6:50 a.m. Friday

Former U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is blaming the failure of American-North Korean talks on President Donald Trump’s failure to invest time in the work of diplomacy ahead of time.

Biden says, “I hope the president has learned a really important lesson: Diplomacy matters.”

Biden made the comments Thursday while headlining a forum on global leadership with former U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel at the University of Nebraska at Omaha.

President Trump said US sanctions were sticking point in failed talks with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un at their summit in Hanoi, Vietnam. After an abrupt end to the summit with Kim, President Trump said: 'Sometimes you have to walk.' (Feb. 28)
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Biden says Trump “treats everything like it’s a real estate deal — just let me in the room and I can convince the other party to make a deal.”

Instead, Biden, a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, says “it requires hard, hard, hard and consistent diplomacy.”

Biden is considering mounting a Democratic bid against Trump in 2020.

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6:30 a.m.

The U.S. and North Korea are offering contradictory accounts of why the summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un broke down, though both are pointing to punishing American sanctions as a sticking point in the high-stakes nuclear negotiation.

President Trump, on his way back to Washington on Thursday, said before leaving Hanoi that the talks collapsed because North Korea’s leader insisted that all the sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Pyongyang be lifted without the North firmly committing to eliminate its nuclear arsenal.

But North Korea challenged that account, insisting it had asked only partial sanctions relief in exchange for shutting down its main nuclear complex.

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3:25 a.m.

North Korea says the United States has squandered an opportunity for a nuclear deal and may not get another chance.

President Donald Trump says his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (gihm jung oon) broke down because North Korea insisted that all U.S. sanctions be lifted. But North Korea disputed that, saying the North demanded only partial sanctions relief.

North Korea’s Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui says she believes her country’s leader “may have lost his will (to continue) North Korea-U.S. dealings.” She says she believes Kim is finding it “difficult to understand” why the summit collapsed.

Earlier, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said Washington wasted an opportunity that “may not come again.”

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2:30 a.m.

President Donald Trump is stressing the United States’ military power as he stops at a military base in Alaska on his way back to Washington after an unsuccessful summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un (gihm jung oon).

Trump did not directly respond to North Korea’s assertion that he had mischaracterized the reason the summit collapsed. Instead, Trump said the U.S. was investing in missile defense technology, and he issued a broad warning to U.S. enemies.

Said Trump: “America does not seek conflict, but if we are forced to defend ourselves we will fight and we will win in an overwhelming fashion.”

Trump said before leaving Hanoi that the talks broke down because Kim insisted that all U.S. sanctions be lifted without the North committing to eliminate its nuclear arsenal. But North Korea’s foreign minister said the North demanded only partial sanctions relief in exchange for shutting down its main nuclear complex.

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12:45 a.m.

North Korea is disputing President Donald Trump’s account of why the summit between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (gihm jung oon) collapsed.

North Korea’s foreign minister says the North demanded only partial sanctions relief in exchange for shuttering its main nuclear complex, and that the discussions collapsed after the U.S. demanded further disarmament steps.

Ri Yong Ho’s comments during an abruptly scheduled news conference in Hanoi on Friday contradicted the explanation by Trump, who hours earlier told reporters that the North had demanded a full removal of sanctions in exchange for shuttering the Yongbyon nuclear facility.

Ri says the North was also ready to offer in writing a permanent halt of the country’s nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and that Washington wasted an opportunity that “may not come again.”

He says the North’s position wouldn’t change even if the United States offers to resume another round of dialogue.

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8:20 p.m. Thursday

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says nuclear negotiations with North Korea will resume quickly following the collapse of President Donald Trump’s summit with Kim Jong Un.

Pompeo tells reporters aboard his plane Thursday that his team will get back to work “tomorrow” although no new meetings have yet been scheduled.

Pompeo said progress was made between Trump and Kim at their talks in Hanoi but not enough to warrant signing any kind of agreement. The White House had scheduled a signing ceremony but abruptly canceled it along with a lunch when it became clear an agreement could not be reached.

Pompeo spoke as he flew to Manila from Hanoi, Vietnam, for talks with senior Philippines officials.

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6:35 p.m.

South Korea’s presidential office says U.S. President Donald Trump regretted the collapse of his nuclear summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam but expressed “firm” commitment to continue negotiations.

The office of South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Thursday that Trump in a phone conversation with Moon discussed the details of his talks with Kim as he flew out of Vietnam.

The Blue House says Moon encouraged Trump to continue his efforts for accomplishing the “historic feat of resolving the world’s last remaining Cold War rivalry.” It says the leaders agreed to meet soon to discuss the nuclear issue.

Trump says he “walked away” from talks with Kim after it was clear the two sides remained at odds over ending the North’s nuclear program.

Kim was asked whether he was ready to denuclearize and said, “If I’m not willing to do that I won’t be here right now.”

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5:10 p.m.

The Kremlin says that talks at the U.S.-North Korean nuclear summit in Vietnam appear to have failed because the parties proved unwilling to compromise and make concessions.

Talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wrapped up two hours earlier on Thursday after the parties failed to reach an agreement. Trump says the U.S. was unwilling to meet North Korea’s demand to remove all U.S.-led international sanctions in exchange for the shuttering of a North Korean nuclear facility.

Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov told reporters Moscow is encouraged by the fact the negotiations did not break down completely. But Peskov laments the lack of “small steps” and flexibility that could have helped to achieve some progress.

Peskov says the North Korean nuclear program is a complicated issue that is “impossible to solve in one go.”

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4:55 p.m.

China says the U.S. and North Korea must “meet each other halfway” after no agreement was reached between the two countries’ leaders during their nuclear summit in Vietnam.

Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang said during a regular news briefing Thursday that the situation in the Korean Peninsula experienced a significant “turnaround” over the past year, a “hard-won result” that is worth cherishing.

Lu says the U.S. and North Korea have returned to the correct path toward a political settlement, which is “the only way out.”

During his post-summit press conference, U.S. President Donald Trump called Chinese leader Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng) “a highly-respected leader all over the world” who has been “very helpful” with North Korea. Trump says China is highly influential because of its high volume of trade with North Korea.

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4:30 p.m.

South Korea’s presidential office says it was “unfortunate” that U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un failed to produce an agreement in their high-stakes nuclear summit in Vietnam. But it says it expects “active dialogue” to continue between Washington and Pyongyang.

The Blue House said Thursday it believes Washington and Pyongyang deepened their understandings of each other during their “long and deep discussions” in Hanoi.

It says Trump raising the possibility of sanctions relief in exchange for nuclear disarmament steps from the North shows that the nuclear negotiations between the countries have entered an “elevated level.”

The collapse of the Trump-Kim summit could prove to be a setback for South Korean President Moon Jae-in, whose ambitions for inter-Korean engagement hinge on a nuclear breakthrough between Washington and Pyongyang.

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3:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump has departed Vietnam after failing to reach an agreement during his second nuclear summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

The U.S. leader said he “walked away” from talks with Kim after it was clear the two sides remained at odds in talks over ending the North’s nuclear program.

Trump says the North had demanded a full removal of U.S.-led international sanctions in exchange for the shuttering of the North’s Yongbyon nuclear facility, and the U.S. wouldn’t agree to that.

Trump took off from Hanoi more than two hours early after the abrupt change in schedule. Air Force One is scheduled to refuel in Anchorage, Alaska, before returning to Joint Base Andrews outside Washington late Thursday.

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3:40 p.m.

South Korean media are reacting with alarm over the collapse of the nuclear summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Yonhap news agency said Thursday that the clock on the security situation of the Korean Peninsula has “turned back to zero” and that the diplomatic push to resolve the nuclear standoff with the North was now “at a crossroads.”

Financial News wondered whether Washington and Pyongyang would struggle to keep the momentum of dialogue alive and anticipated the nuclear negotiations becoming a prolonged battle.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who met with Kim three times last year and lobbied hard to revive nuclear diplomacy between Washington and Pyongyang, was expected to comment on the outcome of the Trump-Kim summit later Thursday.

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3:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump is hopeful that India and Pakistan may be on the cusp of progress after the two countries exchanged gunfire through the night along the Kashmir region a day after Islamabad said it shot down two Indian warplanes and captured a pilot.

Trump told reporters Thursday at the end of a two-day summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam that India and Pakistan have “been going at it” and that the U.S. has been involved, “trying to help them both out” to “see if we can get some organization and some peace.”

He says: “I think probably that’s going to be happening,” adding: “We have, I think, reasonably attractive news from Pakistan and India.”

World powers have called on the two nations to de-escalate tensions that have gripped the region since a Feb. 14 suicide car bombing killed over 40 Indian paramilitary personnel. The situation escalated with Wednesday’s aerial skirmish.

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3:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump says his summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un fell through after the North demanded a full removal of U.S.-led international sanctions in exchange for the shuttering of the North’s Yongbyon nuclear facility.

Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters in Vietnam on Thursday that the United States wasn’t willing to make a deal without the North committing to giving up its secretive nuclear facilities outside Yongbyon as well as its missile and warheads program.

Experts have said Washington shouldn’t give up too much for a Yongbyon-only deal as the North is believed to be secretly operating other uranium enrichment sites hidden around the country.

Trump says that the summit ended on a good note but that there are no current plans for a third summit.

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3 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he doesn’t think North Korean leader Kim Jong Un was involved in the mistreatment of American college student Otto Warmbier, who died after being detained in the isolated country.

Trump says of Kim: “He tells me that he didn’t know about it, and I will take him at his word.”

Trump has taken credit for freeing American prisoners abroad and used Warmbier’s death as a rallying cry against the North’s human rights abuses before softening his rhetoric in advance of talks with Kim.

Warmbier, a 22-year-old University of Virginia student from Ohio, was visiting North Korea with a tour group when he was arrested and sentenced to 15 years of hard labor in 2016 on suspicion of stealing a propaganda poster. He died in June 2017, shortly after he returned to the U.S. in a coma.

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2:55 p.m.

President Donald Trump won’t commit to saying the U.S. is demanding complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearization of North Korea before removing sanctions on that country.

Trump spoke Thursday at a news conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, after he announced that he had walked away from his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un without a deal being reached.

Trump says: “I don’t want to put myself in that position from the standpoint of negotiation.”

Trump and other U.S. officials have long maintained that denuclearization was a prerequisite to lifting sanctions on North Korea. Trump said earlier that U.S. sanctions were the sticking point in the talks with Kim.

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2:50 p.m.

U.S. President Donald Trump says he has not committed to a third summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un after their second summit ended early without a deal.

Trump told reporters at a news conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, on Thursday at the end of two days of talks that “we’ll see if it happens,” but that he has “not committed.”

As for any further meetings, Trump says, “It might be soon. It might not be for a long time.”

Trump took questions from reporters after talks with Kim ended early. Trump says that Kim asked the U.S. to lift sanctions in exchange for certain steps toward denuclearization. Trump says he refused.

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2:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump is explaining the abrupt and early end to his Vietnamese summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un by telling reporters: “Sometimes you have to walk.”

Trump said Thursday that North Korea wanted him to lift U.S. sanctions on the country in exchange for denuclearization, but he wasn’t willing to do that.

Still, he says Kim assured him he’ll continue to hold off on nuclear and missile tests.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday at the news conference in Hanoi that he wishes the two sides could have gotten further.

He says they asked Kim to do more and “he was unprepared to do that.”

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1:40 p.m.

U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un have failed to reach an agreement at their second summit in Vietnam, but talks between the two nations will continue in the future.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders says the two leaders discussed denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula. She adds: “No agreement was reached at this time, but their respective teams look forward to meeting in the future.”

Still, Sanders is describing the meetings between Trump and Kim as “very good and constructive.”

Trump and Kim departed the hotel where they’ve been holding summit negotiations far earlier than planned Thursday. A joint agreement signing ceremony was scrapped.

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1:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un have departed the hotel where they’ve been holding summit negotiations far earlier than planned.

The leaders had been expected to hold a working lunch as well as attend a joint agreement signing ceremony at the Hanoi Metropole hotel on Thursday. Instead, they departed in separate motorcades within minutes of each other after doing neither.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters before Trump departed that there had been a “program change,” but she did not provide further explanation about what had prompted the upheaval or whether any deals had been agreed to.

Trump is scheduled to hold a news conference at 2 p.m. — two hours earlier than originally scheduled — before he departs Hanoi.

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12:55 p.m.

Talks between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un are wrapping up earlier than expected.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters on Thursday that “negotiations are still ongoing” between the two delegations. Trump and Kim were scheduled to have lunch but did not enter the dining room where reporters were assembled.

Sanders says Trump will return with his delegation to his hotel soon, providing no updates on a scheduled joint signing with Kim that had been on the books for 2 p.m.

Sanders says Trump’s press conference, which had been scheduled for 4 p.m., has now been moved to 2 p.m. at his hotel.

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