The Nuclear Summit between North Korea and the United States ended abruptly 2 days into the process and was carried on NBC News at 1:30 a.m. CDT:
Trump: “I want to thank all of the people of Vietnam for having treated us so well.”
We have relatively attractive news from Pakistan and India. They’ve been going at it and we‘ve been in the middle trying to help them both out.
Venezuela has been very much in the news and we’ve been sending supplies. We’re sending a lot of supplies down to Venezuela. You would think the man in charge currently would let the supplies get through.
On North Korea, we just left Chairman Kim. We had a very productive time but we felt it wasn’t a good time to be signing anything. We spent pretty much all day with Chairman Kim. He’s quite a guy and quite a character. At this time, we decided not to do any of the options. It was a very interesting 2 days.
Sometimes you have to walk and this was one of those times.
(Then he threw the discussion to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo)
Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo:
We had brought a team and tried to make real progress. Unfortunately, we didn’t get all the way. We didn’t get to something that ultimately made sense for the United States of America. I’m still optimistic. I am hoping that we’ll get back together and work something out. I think as we continue to work on this in the days and weeks ahead, I hope we can get to the goal of de-nuclearizing North Korea.
I’m very optimistic in the progress that we made. It put us in a position to make good progress. They couldn’t quite get to the point of making a deal. I hope we’ll do so in the days and weeks ahead.
Q: Has this process been more difficult than you thought?
A: It was about the sanctions. Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety. They were willing to de-nuke a large portion of the area that we wanted. We will continue to work, but we had to walk away.
Q: All things are still in place?
A: We haven’t given up anything, and frankly I think we’ll end up being very good friends with Chairman Kim and everybody. It was about sanctions. They wanted sanctions lifted, but they weren’t willing to give us the areas that we wanted.
Q: (John Roberts of Fox News) Did you get any distance towards Kim’s vision of de-nuclearization?
A: He has a certain vision and it is not exactly our vision, but it’s a lot closer than it was a year ago. For this particular visit we decided that we had to walk.
Q: (Sean Hannity): If he wants the sanctions completely off and you wanted more, how do you bridge that gap?
A: We have to get what we have to get.
Q: (Sean Hannity)_ Could you elaborate a little bit more?
A: I want to keep the relationship going. As you know, we got our hostages back. Chairman Kim of North Korea promised me he isn’t going to do testing of nuclear. I trust him and I take him at his word. Mike (Pompeo) will be speaking with his people. It’s a process and it’s moving along. We could have signed an agreement today, but I just felt it wasn’t appropriate.
Q: Did you learn anything new about Chairman Kim of North Korea? While this was going on Michael Cohen called you a liar, a con-man, a racist.
A: It’s incorrect and it’s very interesting, but I think having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit was really a terrible thing. They could have made it even a week later. Having it in front of this very important summit was a terrible thing. He lied about so many things but he didn’t say there was any collusion. I was a little impressed about that, to be honest. I call it the witch hunt. This should never happen to another president. I call it the witch hunt. I now add the word hoax. The most important question was the one about collusion and he said he saw no collusion. (Trump said that Cohen lied about 95% of the time rather than 100%).
Q; What was the atmosphere between you and North Korea’s Chairman Kim?
A: Very good, very friendly. We shook hands. There’s a warmth that we have. I hope it stays, and I think it will. This should have been solved during many presidential runs before me. People talked about it but never did anything. .It was a very friendly walk.
(Secretary of State Mike Pompeo)
We are certainly closer today than we were 36 hours ago. Real progress was made. Everyone had hoped we could do just a little bit better, but both sides are resolved to achieve it.
Q: How do you find things in common between you and North Korea’s Chairman Kim when you are from such different economic systems and even from different generations (from a foreign correspondent)?
A: We just like one another.
Q: Do you think this meeting was premature (BBC)?
A: You always have to be prepared to walk. We could have signed something, but it just wasn’t appropriate. I’d much rather do it right than do it fast.
Q: (South Korea reporter) Can you elaborate on the options?
A: We discussed many ways. De-nuclearization is a very important word. To me, it’s pretty obvious. We have to get rid of the nukes. But North Korea is in an incredible location. ..There’s tremendous potential in North Korea. I think its going to be an absolute economic power.
Q: David Sagner of the NY Times: Six months ago you said we should come back and ask you about it if nothing had been solved. In that time you have seen the number of missiles from North Korea increase. That’s been a pressure point on you.
A: Some people are saying that and some people aren’t. We’re partners with a lot of countries on this including Russia, China and others. I don’t want to do something that is going to violate the trust that we’ve built up.
Q: More detail?
A: Chairman Kim of North Korea wants all the sanctions off. He was willing to do things, but we have to have more than that. We had to do more than just the one level.
POMPEO: There were timing issues. There were a lot of other issues that we needed to discuss.
Q: (black reporter): Are you still wanting North Korea to give up everything?
A: I don’t want to say that to you, because I don’t want to put myself in that position. I’m always prepared to walk. I’m never afraid to walk from a deal.
Q: Are you afraid the testing will start again?
A: He said the testing will not start. He said he won’t do testing of anything having to do with nuclear.
Q: Jessica Stone of CVTN: How would you describe China’s role in facilitating the engagement so far?
A: China has been a big help. 93% of things come in through China to North Korea. China has an influence and China has been a big help and Russia has been a big help, too. About 28 miles of the border…things can happen there, too.
Q: Did the topic of China come up?
A: We did talk about China today a lot. He’s getting along with China and so are we. (Lots of talk about how great things are going in the U.S. that has nothing to do with the question). “We have the strongest economy possibly that we’ve ever had.” Cited Fiat Chrysler as building a new plant. “But China is having some difficulty, as you know.” He mentioned the tariff moneys which have decreased the U.S. bottom line. “I want them (China) to do great, but we’ve been losing anywhere from $300 to $500 billion a year. Many presidents should have done this before me, but nobody did.” (Later, he cited the Obama administration by name, but insisted that it went back further than that.)
Q: Message from President Moon?
A: I like President Moon. We have a great relationship. Believe it or not I have a great relationship with almost every leader. Some people would find this difficult to believe, but we do. We’ll be calling President Moon very soon. I’ll be calling the President of Japan.
Discussion following Trump’s 40 minute press conference: A lunch meeting did not happen and a scheduled signing ceremony did not happen. Peter Alexander of NBC News said they wound up abruptly. Trump flew 800 miles for nothing, basically. The last time Trump walked (the wall) he ended up with a deal that was worse than he had before. It’s not entirely clear what he can do to go forward. Why is there any reason for optimism? Clearly something happened at some point. Trump flew halfway around the world and then flew home early empty-handed. “They didn’t get to the finish line at all.”