It is reasonably good news. Kim wanted the US to drop all sanctions in response for dismantling the publicly disclosed plant to make nuclear weapons materials. They weren't ready to do that. The US were willing to drop all sanctions in response to him completely denuclearizing but he wasn't ready to do that. He has a vision but not the same as the US vision but closer than it was a year ago.

Trump talked about them knowing the country very well (including nuclear facilities that NK has not disclosed). And that he wasn't willing to do enough.

Not a big disagreement. More that they were on the point of a big agreement but it fell through. And as Trump said he is not afraid to walk away from a deal.

But Kim is still commmitted to no nuclear or missile tests of any kind, the US are not going to do any more of the expensive military maneuvers in South Korea that unnerve the North Koreans, and the talks are still going to continue between the US and NK. They had an agreement they could have signed but Trump didn't feel it was appropriate at this stage and he is never afraid to work away froma deal. They left on friendly terms and both felt they made a lot of progress.

Also Kim has pledged to meet again - this is not getting reported so much - can't see it on the BBC site though it's in the Japan Times and Bloomberg.

It seems pretty clear that Trump sprung a surprise on Kim in the summit, as he talks about them knowing more about the North Korean nuclear facilities than Kim realized - which has to be something he told Kim during the summit itself (otherwise why would Kim be surprised by it?). So that must be a factor. And Kim was not prepared to do what the US required of him right away in response to lifting of sanctions, so both had to withdraw to regroup and reconsider the situation.

One major step forward is that it seems Kim agreed to inspections of the Korean facilities in the deal they agreed on before hand in the negotiations leading up to the summit, but were unable to sign.

This is another story that is scaring people. Their main concern is about world war III which has never been a possiblity at all from the North Korea situation. This is part of my work to write articles that present the same material without the exaggerations of the sensationalist press or even sometimes the conventional mainstream press too. It is to support people we help in the Facebook Doomsday Debunked group, that find us because they get scared, sometimes to the point of suicide, by such stories.

Here is the press conference by Trump after their meeting:

It starts out:

Unfortunately, we didn’t get all the way that ultimately made sense for the United States of America. I think chairman Kim was hopeful that we would. We asked him to do more. He was unprepared to do that, but I’m optimistic. I hope our teams will get together in the days and weeks ahead and work out. It’s a very complex problem. We have said since the beginning this would take time.

Our teams have gotten to know each other better. We know what some of the limits are and challenges are, and I think in the days and weeks ahead we can make progress so we can ultimately achieve what the world wants. I wish we could have gotten a little bit further, but I’m very optimistic that the progress that we made both in the runup to this summit as well as the progress that the two leaders made over these past two days put us in a position to get a really good outcome.

And the president and chairman Kim both felt good that they had made that progress, but couldn’t quite get along the line any further to make a deal that would have been bigger at this point. I hope we’ll do so in the weeks ahead. Thank you, Mr. President.

Full transcript of it at Vox:

Some notes from the video:

Pompeo also says they made good progress but didn't quite get over the line to what they had been hoping to achieve and that they are going to continue working on it and that they have got to know each other and where the possibilities are and the limitations.

Trump has confirmed it was about the sanctions. They were willing to denuclearize the Yongbyon facility, a large area of what the US wanted but they wanted all the sanctions lifted in exchange. The US then said they had to walk away.

It's not too unusual. It has been a very positive press conference given that there was no agreement. Very optimistic about the future. Didn't get across the line this time but a very productive meeting.

Negotiations at such a high level can run into glitches. And it will answer critics of Trump who have said he may give away too much in his eagerness to achieve a deal.

They came to it with high expectations and also coming from different perceptions of the situation.
Relationship very warm and when they walked away a very friendly walk. Closer than 36 hours ago and closer then than a month before. Everyone hoped it would be better but walking a way in hope to solve a very difficult problem.

Closer than they were before and both wanted to make progress.

He could have signed something today. They had papers ready to be signed but it wasn't appropriate. Much better to do it right than fast.

He would be willing to remove the entire complex. But while very big it wasn't enough. There are other things that the US found including the second uranium enrichment plant and the US brought up many things that the North Koreans were surprised that they knew.

There were also timing and sequencing issues. Also it still leaves missiles and weapon systems and listing of all of them and they couldn't quite get there today.

They want a lot to be given up to remove the sanctions and prepared to help them along economically. He mentions China as well as Japan and South Korea.

He said testing will not start of rockets or missiles or anything to do with nuclear.

Also Trump says they are not going to restart military exercises. He said they spend hundreds of millions of dollars on the exercises and they felt they were very expensive. He says protecting countries that are very rich and not getting anything back.

On inspections he says they have a schedule set up they think very successfully. There are sites they know about which the general public don't know about.

Not going to increase sanctions. And said previously he spoke ot president Xi of China and that China don't like having nuclear North Korea at their doorstep.


It is a major set back for Trump - but also for Kim. And I think that they are genuine that the talks will be continuing.

And we do have several postives - no testing of missiles or nukes from NK, and no resuming of military exercises from the US. So the status quo continues and they say that they got close to an agreement and the reason for walking away makes total sense.

We also have that they have worked out how to do inspections and that any future deal would involve inspectors,so Kim has clearly agreed to that.

Reading between the lines a little, but not much, it seems that Kim was surprised at how much the US knew about the North Korean nuclear facilities. He may have hoped to do a deal in which they drop all the sanctions in place for dismantling only the public ones inclding leaked ones but the US knows of other sites that the public do not know about. So that probably surprised Kim.

It is not impossible that Kim may have been trying to pull a bit of fast one on the US, as after all his father did things like that. Trump talking about him being a bit of a character also suggests that interpretation.

That at least is a factor in what happened I'd say. The US knowing about facilities NK didnt' know they knew about. Kim surprised. Presumably the US sprung that on them in this meeting itself, and didn’t talk about it beforehand. Maybe they expected soem other reaction.

They had something agreed they could both sign. As commentators expected indeed there was a leak of what could have been in such a deal before the meeting. Nice words but not committing to a lot.

And Trump says that they could still have signed it. But it would have been the kind of a deal they would have been criticized for, as not going far enough and he felt it was better to walk away.

So both need to regroup and then try to move forwards again.

We don’t know, Kim may have had surprises too.

Whatever, it is clear that though they had things worked out in advance, new things were brought to the table during the summit itself that one or both of the leaders hadn’t expected. At least one new thing was the US not revealing what they knew about the NK facilities until the summit itself. And then Kim’s reaction perhaps surprising the US.

Expect all this will be a significant factor as they analyze what he said over the next few days, will see.


Some of you have been very scared that this summit could lead to WWIII. No that was never even remotely a possibility. Please don’t be scared of that in any future negotiations they have.

First, the North Koreans are not going to start a war over anything. They are not crazy. They are there to make a deal and it failed. They got their nuclear weapons in order to be safe as a deterrent. Not to attack the US. That would achieve absolutely nothing.

And especially not WWIII. Nobody else would get involved. China and Russia would not support North Korea against the US. Indeed as Trump hinted, China are very uncomfortable with nuclear NK at their border.

They are not really best of pals. There are historical reasons for this between China and Korea (both North and South Korea as they were a single country) going back centuries, as a result of which North Korea do not want to be a vassal of China. And China are not keen on them either.

They are also different political systems, NK is not really communist but has its own distinctive ideology based on Confucian ideas and an idea of independence of other countries including China. It is totalitarian but not communist, it’s based on their distinctive form of confucianism, a kind of aim to achieve a heavenly state in this lifetime through orodering and patterning of society, called Chendoism.

Meanwhile China are not keen on nukes. They have produced only small numbers when as a big wealthy country they could easily produce large numbers like the US and Russia but that is not their style. And they certainly have no interest in the NK Nukes except to try to get rid of them or keep them out of other people's hands. There is no way that either China or Russia would be invovled in a WWIII involving NK, nor is there anyway that NK want a war with anyone. They just want to be left alone and not invaded, basically. As a totalitarian dictatorship. But paradoxically also want eventually to be reunited with democratic South Korea, just about all North Koreans are really keen on that and many South Koreans including president Moon. Long for the day when both countries become one again, having been split in two by the Korean war. The North Koreans recognize that their poliitical system would not remain unchanged as a result.

Anyway that is for far into the future. But there is no way they wanat to invade South Korea either. Any war could only be a mistake. But they don’t want to be invaded and that’s the entire reason for their vast army and all the nuclear weapons.

Some of my past NK posts , some from way back before the winter olympics back to when Trump was calling him rocket man:

On the previous summit, the first few written before it:


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