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.
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.