President Trump’s national security advisor is chalking the United States meeting in Hanoi with North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un as a win.
“If you can’t get a good deal, and the president offered North Korea the best deal it could possibly get — no deal is better than a bad deal,” Bolton said on CNN’s “State of the Union,” the Washington Examiner reports.
“So the president decided to shake things up in North Korean diplomacy given the failure of the last three administrations to achieve the denuclearization of North Korea,” Bolton continued. “He, obviously, thinks it’s worth trying. We’ll see now what comes next.”
Bolton also called Trump’s decision to walk away from the talks “unquestionably a success.”
“I think it was unquestionably a success for the United States because the president protected, defended American interests,” he added. “The possibility was there for North Korea to make a big deal with us, to do complete denuclearization in exchange for the potential for a very bright economic future.”
The Washington Examiner adds:
U.S. officials announced this week that it would halt planned military exercises with South Korea in the spring. North Korea has long viewed the exercises between the two allies as a demonstration of a threat against the Kim regime. Getting the U.S. to stop the exercises has been one of the major planks in negotiations between the two countries.
President Trump similarly said he would not settle for a deal that would not be in America’s best interests.
“Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that. They were able to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions,” Trump said via the Associated Press.
The U.S. president said there is hope for scoring a deal in the future and that his negotiating team would continue to work.
“We had to walk away from that particular suggestion. we had to walk away from that,” the president added.
And, from the Associated Press:
Talks between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un collapsed Thursday after the two sides failed to bridge a standoff over U.S. sanctions, a dispiriting end to high-stakes meetings meant to disarm a global nuclear threat.
Trump blamed the breakdown on North Korea’s insistence that all the punishing sanctions the U.S. has imposed on Pyongyang be lifted without the North committing to eliminate its nuclear arsenal.
“Sometimes you have to walk,” Trump explained at a closing news conference after the summit was abruptly cut short. He said there had been a proposed agreement that was “ready to be signed.”
“I’d much rather do it right than do it fast,” Trump said. “We’re in position to do something very special.”
The Associated Press adds: “The disintegration of talks came after Trump and Kim had appeared to be ready to inch toward normalizing relations between their still technically warring nations and as the American leader dampened expectations that their negotiations would yield an agreement by North Korea to take concrete steps toward ending a nuclear program that Pyongyang likely sees as its strongest security guarantee.”Note: The author of this article has included commentary that expresses an opinion and analysis of the facts.