President Trump told reporters in Hanoi he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un did not sign an agreement as scheduled largely because they disagreed on sanctions.
Mr. Trump, fielding reporters’ questions after the White House abruptly announced the summit would be cut short, explained, “Sometimes you have to walk.” Mr. Trump said he and U.S. leaders decided walking away would be better than giving away too much.
North Korea, the president explained, wanted the U.S. to eliminate all sanctions imposed on it, and that was too much.
Both Mr. Trump and Kim had expressed cautious optimism in earlier interactions with the press. Mr. Trump described the conversations as “productive.” When asked earlier if he was willing to denuclearize, Kim said, through a translator, “If I’m not willing to do that I wouldn’t be here right now.”
Follow along below for more from the press conference.
Trump headed to airport
As of 3:08 p.m. local time and 3:08 a.m. Eastern time, the president’s motorcade departed the hotel where the press conference was held for the airport in Hanoi.
No next summit scheduled at this point, Trump says
Mr. Trump said there is no next summit scheduled with Kim at this point.
Trump accepts Kim Jong Un’s claim to innocence regarding Otto Warmbier
A reporter asked Mr. Trump if he has brought up Otto Warmbier, the American who died after being in the custody of North Koreans.
Mr. Trump, in a stunning claim for a U.S. president, said he doesn’t believe the top leadership knew and he doesn’t believe Kim knew. Mr. Trump claimed Kim said he was unaware.
“He tells me he didn’t know about it and I will take him at his word,” the president said.
Warmbier’s family was invited as the president’s guests at lsat year’s State of the Union address, when Mr. Trump was still talking tough about North Korea and Kim.
Trump criticizes South Korea for not funding joint military exercises
Mr. Trump, asked if he would bring back joint military exercises with South Korea, said those exercises are exceedingly expensive. The U.S., he said, is saving lots of money.
Mr. Trump then appeared to criticize South Korea for not paying more for those military exercises.
Trump says he’ll call South Korean and Japanese leaders soon
Mr. Trump said he will be calling South Korean President Moon Jae-In and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe as soon as he can get near a phone.
Earlier in the press conference, Mr. Trump explained that part of the reason he didn’t want to sign an agreement too soon with North Korea is he didn’t want to betray the trust of allies like them.
Pompeo: We are closer to goals with North Korea than 36 hours ago
Mr. Trump invited Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the podium, where Pompeo said he believes they are closer — he didn’t say closer to what — now than 36 hours ago.
Trump responds to Cohen hearing
Mr. Trump, asked about a hearing hours earlier with his former attorney Michael Cohen, blasted Democrats for holding the hearing during his summit with Kim.
“I think having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit is really a terrible thing,” Mr. Trump said.
The president claimed Cohen “lied a lot” but the hearing was very interesting.
The president then launched into his frustrations with the Russia investigation, claiming there is no collusion.
Trump says U.S., North Korea closer to definition on denuclearization
Mr. Trump said he believes the U.S. and North Korea are somewhat closer to sharing a definition of denuclearization. Senior administration officials told reporters ahead of the summit that, in the last eight months since the Singapore summit, the two countries had not reached such a definition.
“He has a certain vision and it’s not exactly our vision, but it is a lot closer than it was a year ago. I think eventually we will get there,” Mr. Trump said.
“It was about the sanctions,” Trump explains
CBS News chief Washington correspondent Major Garrett asked Mr. Trump if the North Koreans wanted to lift sanctions.
“It was about the sanctions … basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that,” Mr. Trump responded.
Trump calls talks with Kim “productive”
Mr. Trump said he and Kim had “productive” meetings, despite cutting short meetings and leaving without an agreement.
“At this time we decided not to do any of the options,” Mr. Trump said, noting his team decided it was best not to sign anything.
“Sometimes, you have to walk,” Mr. Trump said.
Trump takes the stage
The president began by thanking “all” of the people of Vietnam, before pulling out a paper.
He then began to talk about other international crisis — Pakistan and India, as well as Venezuela.
Asian markets react negatively
Asian markets appear to be reacting negatively to the news that talks were cut short without a deal. Both the Nikkei and the Kospi were heading downwards after the announcement.
Reporters will have a chance to ask if something went wrong
At the press conference, reporters will have a chance to ask the president what went wrong.
It was never clear what Mr. Trump and Kim would be signing in the ceremony announced before they had their second day of meetings.
Earlier in the day, Mr. Trump and Kim had a one-on-one meeting, followed by an expanded bilateral meeting.
Trump has insisted he isn’t interested in speed
Whether it’s reaching an agreement with Kim or the denuclearization of North Korea, Mr. Trump has made it clear over the last 24 hours — he’s not in a rush.
“I’ve been saying very much from the beginning that speed is not that important to me,” the president said as he sat down with Kim earlier in Hanoi. “I very much appreciate no testing of nuclear rockets, missiles, any of it. Very much appreciate it.”
It’s a sentiment Mr. Trump expressed to governors at the White House on Sunday, too.
“What’s going to happen I can’t tell you. I think eventually it would but I can’t tell you,” Mr. Trump said of denuclearization. “And I’m not in a rush I don’t want to rush anybody. I just don’t want testing. As long as there’s no testing we’re happy.”