Categories for Nuclear

23,282. 3/12/2019

MIDDLE EAST/NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SANCTIONS/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/UN: “North Korea has broken UN sanctions with a ‘massive’ increase of oil imports and coal exports, a UN report has found. The 400-page document released Monday [3-11-19] by the UN Panel of Experts on North Korea said that Pyongyang had also tried to sell weapons in the Middle East and hacked banks across the world. The report comes after the collapse of last month’s talks between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam, in part due to disagreement over when to remove sanctions in exchange for steps toward Pyongyang’s denuclearization. The report said that Pyongyang rendered sanctions ineffective by increasing the number of ship-to-ship transfers it conducts at sea. Japanese officials have observed North Korean ships engaging in purported ship-to-ship transfers…North Korea’s coal sales have historically been some of the country’s most valuable exports. UN sanctions meant to punish Pyongyang for its 2017 missile and nuclear tests put a cap on the amount of coal the country was allowed to sell internationally. The measures also capped the amount of oil and energy products the country was allowed to import.”

Joshua Berlinger, “North Korea defies UN with arms sales and oil imports, report says,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, March 12, 2019 11:41 pm

23,258. 3/12/2019

MILITARY/NUCLEAR/RUSSIA/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The Pentagon is taking steps to develop new missiles, following the Trump administration’s decision to suspend the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, a 1987 arms-control agreement that the Trump administration has said it plans to exit due to Russian violations…She added that these activities ‘would have been inconsistent with our obligations under the Treaty’ prior to the administration’s move last month to suspend its treaty obligations though she stressed that the missile was non-nuclear…While the Pentagon began researching concepts for the missile back in 2017 in response to Russian missile activities, that research was considered compliant with the treaty. Earlier this month the Kremlin issued a statement saying that Russian President Vladimir Putin had signed a decree suspending implementation of the INF Treaty. The US has long accused Russia of violating the treaty through the development and deployment of the SSC-8/9M729 ground-launched cruise missile, an allegation supported by the NATO allies and denied by Russia.”

Ryan Browne, “US begins work on new missiles after pulling out of arms control treaty with Russia,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, March 12, 2019 5:50 pm

23,167. 3/8/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Amid reports that a North Korean rocket launch facility is once again operational, President Donald Trump said Friday [3-8-19] that he would ‘very disappointed’ if he saw signs of any renewed testing at nuclear or missile sites. He told reporters that he has had a ‘good relationship’ with North Korea leader Kim Jong Un ‘and it remains good’…South Korea’s military said Thursday that it is carefully monitoring North Korean nuclear and missile facilities after the country’s spy agency told lawmakers that new activity was detected at the Sanumdong research center where the North is believed to build long-range missiles targeting the U.S. mainland, the Associated Press reported. Defense Ministry spokeswoman Choi Hyun-soo said the U.S. and South Korean militaries are sharing intelligence over the developments at the research center on the outskirts of the capital, Pyongyang, and at the separate Sohae long-range rocket site. She did not elaborate the purported developments. The Center for Strategic and International Studies, based in Washington, reported Thursday that North Korea’s efforts at Sohae amount to a ‘snapback’ from the dismantlement it undertook after the first summit between Trump and Kim in Singapore in June.”

Doug Stanglin, “Amid reports that North Korea rocket launch facility operational; Trump would be ‘very surprised’ if Kim Jong Un renews testing,” USA Today, March 8, 2019 11:57 am 

23,139. 3/7/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/STATE/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “A senior State Department official on Thursday [3-7-19] expressed optimism that the denuclearization of North Korea could be achieved during President Donald Trump’s first term, despite the lack of progress during the recent Hanoi summit and expert assertions to the contrary…The official’s statements come in the wake of a failed summit last month between Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The meeting failed to make any progress toward the US’ goal, resulting instead in what Trump has come to call ‘the walk.’ The official maintained Thursday that both sides left ‘on very good terms’ but conceded that “we’re not as far along as we’d like to be.’ Experts, however, have said it could take up to 10 or 15 years for North Korea to completely denuclearize, given how technical the process is. They see the Trump administration as having expressed lofty goals.”

Kylie Atwood and Jennifer Hansler, “Trump administration still hopeful for North Korea denuclearization in first term,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, March 7, 2019 8:15 pm

23,123. 3/7/2019

MEDIA/NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “North Korea’s state TV has aired a documentary glorifying leader Kim Jong Un’s recent visit to Vietnam that omitted the failed nuclear negotiations with President Donald Trump. The footage’s release Wednesday [3-6-19] came amid reports that North Korea is restoring some facilities at its long-range rocket launch site that it dismantled last year as part of disarmament steps. The documentary shows a smiling Kim talking with Trump while walking together inside a Hanoi hotel last week. It shows Kim’s black limousine passing through a Hanoi street lined with residents waving flags. The footage also shows Kim visiting the North Korean Embassy where some skipped and wept with emotions before they took a group photo with the backdrop of a huge picture of Kim’s late father and grandfather. The documentary cited Kim as saying North Korea and the U.S. must put an end to their decades-long animosity and confrontation. But it didn’t mention about the lack of an agreement following the Kim-Trump summit.”

Associated Press, “North Korea airs film glorifying summit with Trump,” Politico, March 7, 2019 12:19 am

23,102. 3/6/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SANCTIONS/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump said Wednesday [3-6-19] he would be ‘very disappointed’ in Kim Jong Un if North Korea is rebuilding a rocket launch site just days after the two boasted of their strong relationship during a summit in Vietnam…Satellite imagery released this week suggested North Korea began rapidly rebuilding the launch site just days after the Vietnam summit between Trump and Kim failed to achieve a breakthrough on denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula.  The Washington-based Center for Strategic and International Studies, the think tank that obtained and analyzed the images, said it spotted the activity at the Sohae (Tongchang-ri) launch facility in northwestern North Korea. The Trump-Kim summit ended abruptly Feb. 28 after the two leaders could not agree on how to scale down North Korea’s nuclear program. Kim wanted sanctions relief for dismantling parts of its nuclear facilities. Trump wasn’t willing to give it. The satellite images were taken March 2.”

Kim Hjelmgaard, “Trump would be ‘very disappointed’ in Kim Jong Un if North Korea is rebuilding launch site,” USA Today, March 6, 2019 3:49 pm

23,101. 3/6/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump said on Wednesday [3-6-19] he would be ‘very disappointed’ if reports that North Korea is rebuilding a long-range rocket site were true, adding that it is too soon to know the intention of North Korea’s leader, Kim Jong Un…Trump said the relationship between the U.S. and North Korea was good but that he would continue looking into the reports…Satellite images revealed by analysts on Tuesday show that North Korea is rapidly rebuilding a long-range rocket site in Cholsan County. The satellite images were published by the Center for Strategic and International Studies’ Beyond Parallel analytical website and 38 North. The facility, which has been dormant since August, has been used for satellite launches. Rebuilding at the site began sometime between Feb. 16 and March 2, according to 38 North.”

Rebecca Morin, “Trump: ‘Very disappointed’ if North Korea is rebuilding missile site,” Politico, March 6, 2019 3:22 pm

23,037. 3/4/2019

MICHAEL COHEN/NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump suggested Sunday [3-3-19] night that the high-profile congressional testimony offered last week by his former personal attorney may have contributed to the collapse of nuclear negotiations with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at a summit in Vietnam. Trump thus far has attributed his decision to walk away from those negotiations about North Korean denuclearization efforts to Kim’s demands for total relief from U.S. sanctions in exchange for incremental steps toward denuclearization — a retelling North Korea has disputed. But Trump on Sunday offered up another explanation for the abrupt end to his summit with North Korea’s leader…Michael Cohen, the president’s former fixer, spent three days testifying on Capitol Hill last week, including one day of public hearings, appearing before both Republican and Democrat-led committees ahead of a three-year prison sentence for lying to Congress and campaign finance violations, among other crimes. Despite Trump’s second summit with Kim taking place halfway around the world, with a 12-hour time difference, Cohen’s public testimony before the House Oversight Committee about his time working for Trump loomed large over the nuclear negotiations.”

Caitlin Oprysko, “Trump says Cohen hearing may have contributed to nuclear talks’ collapse,” Politico, March 4, 2019 7:24 am

23,025. 3/3/2019

DEMS/NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “For the Democrats to interview in open hearings a convicted liar & fraudster, at the same time as the very important Nuclear Summit with North Korea, is perhaps a new low in American politics and may have contributed to the ‘walk.’ Never done when a president is overseas. Shame!” 

Donald Trump, Twitter.com, March 3, 2019 8:01 pm

22,991. 3/1/2019

FOREIGN POLICY/NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump embarked on his trip to Vietnam with a political cloud hanging over his head and keen to show progress on a thorny foreign policy issue that has befuddled many of his predecessors. Now, he is just back from a Hanoi summit with North Korea that collapsed and the cloud has grown darker. While Trump’s much-hyped meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un broke up in disagreement over sanctions linked to Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons program, testimony from his former lawyer Michael Cohen, who accused him of breaking the law while in office, represented a potentially damaging development for the president at home. Trump faced challenges on other fronts: sensitive talks with China over a trade deal, a slow-rolling crisis in Venezuela, tensions between India and Pakistan and an attempt in Congress to kill his emergency declaration aimed at securing funding for a wall on the border with Mexico.”

Steve Holland, Roberta Rampton, “Back home from Hanoi, Trump faces more political headwinds,” Reuters, March 1, 2019 10:07 pm

22,967. 2/28/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “There were encouraging signs leading up to the second summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. For his part, Trump signaled a subtle but important shift in his approach toward North Korea’s denuclearization — repeatedly saying, ‘Speed is not important to me’ and ‘I’m in no rush.’ This indicated Trump finally was beginning to accept what most nonproliferation experts have been saying all along: That denuclearization of North Korea will be a long and complex process that may last over a decade. The good vibes continued through the summit, as the usually reclusive Kim showed signs of opening up. Responding directly to questions from American journalists, Kim said if he wasn’t willing to denuclearize, ‘I wouldn’t be here right now.’ Heady talks abounded that a peace declaration was a real possibility, putting US and North Korea on a path toward finally ending the Korean War, which is approaching its seventh decade. Then, suddenly, it was all for naught. The second day of the summit was cut short, and the two leaders left with nothing to show for it.”

S. Nathan Park, “The pressure is on Kim Jong Un after failure in Hanoi,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, February 28, 2019 11:41 pm

22,959. 2/28/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “Time is not on President Donald Trump’s side if he still hopes to put a stop to North Korea’s nuclear weapons ambitions after the collapse of his summit with Kim Jong Un. Negotiators seeking to lay new groundwork for a potential agreement will probably have to proceed in a far more plodding fashion than the breakneck pace of the diplomatic process that relied so heavily on Trump and Kim’s personal involvement over the past year, former diplomats and veterans of North Korea policy said Thursday [2-28-19]. And Trump’s rising domestic demands, as he gears up for reelection with middling approval ratings under the cloud of multiple investigations, mean his capacity to make a breakthrough where his predecessors failed could steadily erode.”

Bryan Bender, “Trump’s ticking clock on North Korea,” Politico, February 28, 2019 7:15 pm

22,958. 2/28/2019

CHUCK SCHUMER/NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump is drawing praise from unlikely corners for his surprise decision to walk away from the historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. ‘President Trump did the right thing by walking away and not cutting a poor deal for the sake of a photo op,’ Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer said on the Senate floor Thursday morning. Schumer was just one of a group of Trump skeptics who appeared to breathe a sigh of relief after the president said he refused to accede to Kim’s demand for a full lifting of sanctions as part of a larger denuclearization deal. It was a rare bipartisan outpouring of compliments — even if some of them came with caveats — for a president who has alarmed global leaders with his erratic foreign policy decisions, his desire to engage in trade wars and his threats to pull out of NATO…The summit was a major diplomatic opportunity for the Trump administration, one some have now labeled a failure as Trump returns to Washington apparently no closer to reaching a deal to denuclearize the Korean peninsula – one of Trump’s oft-discussed goals.”

Matthew Choi, “Trump gets praise from unlikely corners for walking away from Kim,” Politico, February 28, 2019 6:39 pm

22,957. 2/28/2019

MIKE POMPEO/NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump walked away from a summit with North Korea on Thursday [2-28-19] saying his administration was ‘positioned to do something very special’ on denuclearization. Experts had their doubts. Trump’s own Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo even acknowledged the lack of progress with North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un: ‘I wished we could have gotten a little bit further.’ Here’s a look at how Trump framed the summit, and what outside experts saw: Trump calls talks ‘productive’ Trump argued that talks with Kim were ‘productive,’ even as he said an impasse between the two was the reason the summit was cut short. Trump did not point to specific issues on which the summit yielded progress though he said his personal relationship with the North Korean leader remained warm. Many U.S. analysts and former officials have expressed skepticism about Trump’s comments touting progress up to and during the summit.”

John Fritze, “Fact check: Trump says North Korea summit ‘productive.’ Was it?,” USA Today, February 28, 2019 6:02 pm

22,955. 2/28/2019

HUMAN RIGHTS/NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump said Thursday [2-28-19] he did not hold Kim Jong Un responsible for the death of Otto Warmbier, the U.S. college student who died after being imprisoned in North Korea. In 2016, Warmbier, then 21 years old, was arrested and accused of committing a ‘hostile act’ as he tried to leave North Korea. He was sent home to his parents in Ohio in June 2017 in a coma with a massive brain injury and died afterward. Trump, who abruptly ended a Vietnam summit with Kim on nuclear disarmament, was asked by a reporter about the discussions he had with the North Korean leader on Warmbier’s death…Warmbier, a University of Virginia student, had been due to stay in North Korea for a five-day study tour when he was accused by North Korea of tearing down a propaganda post in his room. He was sentenced to 15 years hard labor. When he was returned home to his parents in Cincinnati, he had a massive brain injury that left him blind, deaf and unable to move on his own. He died a few days later.”

John Fritze, “‘I don’t believe he knew about it.’ Trump defends Kim Jong Un on Otto Warmbier’s death,” USA Today, February 28, 2019 2:19 pm

22,952. 2/28/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “In the end, President Donald Trump did the unexpected: He walked away. A visibly deflated Trump began the news conference wrapping up his second summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un by talking about anything else. He riffed on the potential nuclear crisis between India and Pakistan. The violent crackdown in Venezuela. Only then did Trump turn to the subject at hand: Why, after weeks of buildup, flattery and reality TV-style showmanship, his negotiations with the North Korean leader had come to an abrupt halt. ‘Sometimes you have to walk and this was just one of those times,’ he said. For Trump, it was more than an isolated diplomatic strikeout. It was the latest demoralizing episode in a monthslong losing streak that threatens his presidency. A clobbering in the House in the November midterm elections that armed Democrats with subpoena power led to a government shutdown and a losing battle with Congress over a border wall with Mexico.”

Eliana Johnson, “‘Sometimes you have to walk’: Why Trump bailed on North Korea,” Politico, February 28, 2019 1:15 pm

22,951. 2/28/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SANCTIONS/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “A senior North Korean official contradicted President Donald Trump on Thursday [2-28-19], denying that his country had insisted on the removal of all sanctions in return for dismantling a key nuclear facility. In a rare news conference addressing the reason why nuclear talks broke down in Hanoi early Thursday, North Korea’s minister of Foreign Affairs, Ri Yong-ho, added that his country would dismantle the facility if some U.S. sanctions are first lifted…Trump during a news conference earlier Thursday said North Korea ‘wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety’ in return for dismantling Yongbyon. Trump said he walked away from his talks with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un because of the request.”

Rebecca Morin, “North Korea denies Trump’s account of summit collapse,” Politico, February 28, 2019 1:02 pm

22,949. 2/28/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump abruptly ended a long-planned summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un on Thursday [2-28-19], acknowledging the two leaders did not reach an agreement that accomplished the U.S. goal of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. ‘Sometimes you have to walk,’ Trump told a news conference in Hanoi that was moved up by several hours and took place in the middle of the night in the United States. Here are key takeaways from Trump’s two-day summit with Kim in Vietnam. No deal on nukes. Trump began his second summit with Kim with an eye toward ‘denuclearization,’ but one major sticking point between the two sides centered on what that term means. The White House had initially scheduled what it called a ‘signing ceremony’ for Thursday, but Trump indicated Kim had not met U.S. expectations for a commitment to dismantling his nuclear program. The ceremony was canceled and Trump moved up a scheduled press conference by two hours. He then departed Vietnam ahead of schedule.”

John Fritze, “Takeaways from Donald Trump’s abruptly ended summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un,” USA Today, February 28, 2019 11:34 am

22,947. 2/28/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump framed the breakdown of his nuclear summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un as wisely knowing when ‘to walk.’ But the stunning collapse revealed the limits of his unique brand of personal diplomacy and raised concerns about future efforts to disarm a global threat. Eyeing the history books and a much-needed political victory, Trump bet big on the two-day Vietnam summit only to be forced to explain away its sudden failure. The president and North Korea gave conflicting explanations of what went wrong, though the result actually was a relief to some critics and even some Trump supporters who feared he might give too much away in pursuit of a deal. Trump, the businessman who was elected in part on his boasts of deal-making prowess, said a proposed agreement was ‘ready to be signed.’ But he said he refused to accept what he described as North Korean insistence that all U.S. sanctions be lifted without the North committing to eliminate its nuclear arsenal.”

Associated Press, “The Art of the Walk? Summit Collapse and Trump’s Diplomacy,” The New York Times online, February 28, 2019

22,946. 2/28/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The United States and North Korea offered conflicting accounts and traded blame on Thursday [2-28-19] after a second summit meeting between President Trump and the North’s leader, Kim Jong-un, ended abruptly without any agreement on nuclear disarmament or easing tensions on the Korean Peninsula. ‘Sometimes you have to walk,’ Mr. Trump said at an afternoon news conference in Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. He said Mr. Kim had offered to dismantle the North’s most important nuclear facility if the United States lifted the harsh sanctions imposed on his nation — but would not commit to do the same for other elements of its weapons program. That, Mr. Trump said, was a dealbreaker…The premature end to the negotiations leaves the unusual rapprochement between the United States and North Korea that has unfolded for most of a year at a deadlock, with the North retaining both its nuclear arsenal and facilities believed to be producing additional fissile material for warheads.”

Edward Wong, “Trump’s Talks With Kim Jong-un Collapse, and Both Sides Point Fingers,” The New York Times online, February 28, 2019

22,945. 2/28/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “It was an unlikely bromance that began last summer in Singapore. The relationship seemed ready to blossom even more this week in Vietnam — until, suddenly, the date went sour. President Trump, who prides himself on his negotiating skills, began his second summit meeting with Kim Jong-un — the North Korean dictator who is believed to have ordered the killings of both his own uncle and half brother — with ardent wooing…As Mr. Trump spoke glowingly of North Korea’s economic potential, the two men seemed to mirror each other in body language. Both sat slightly forward in their chairs, one hand on one knee and the other leaning casually on the table between them, prompting analysts in South Korea to extrapolate closer and closer ties…But just a few hours later, both men had abruptly pulled out of a planned lunch, leaving elegant place settings in a restaurant at the Metropole untouched. There would be no deal, and what had started as a day of harmony ended with both leaders speeding off in their motorcades with nary a final handshake for the cameras.”

Motoko Rich, “Trump and Kim Started With Dinner and Praise. They Ended Without a Handshake.,” The New York Times online, February 28, 2019

22,940. 2/28/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT/VIETNAM: “President Donald Trump acknowledged Thursday [2-28-19] that North Korea is not ready to wind down its nuclear weapons program, telling Fox News’ Sean Hannity that he understands how much work the country has put into its arsenal. Trump spoke with Hannity after two days of meetings on denuclearization with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Vietnam. Trump cut short that summit on Thursday after it became clear no deal could be reached..Trump said in a news conference after the summit that Kim demanded total relief from sanctions in exchange for incremental steps toward denuclearization, something to which Trump was unwilling to agree…Even in walking away from a deal in Hanoi, Trump signaled that his personal relationship with Kim had affected his thinking on U.S. policy toward North Korea. Asked by a reporter from South Korea if he planned on heaping more sanctions on North Korea to pressure Kim back to the negotiating table, the president said that he was seeing things from a new perspective.”

Caitlin Oprysko, “Trump: I ‘fully’ understand why North Korea wouldn’t denuclearize,” Politico, February 28, 2019 6:38 am

22,936. 2/28/2019

MICHAEL COHEN/NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “The news that President Donald Trump walked away from negotiations with North Korea early and empty-handed led many experts and lawmakers to heave sighs of relief, even as the summit’s abrupt finale raises questions about where things go from here. Many had worried that the President, eager to score a success and distract from damaging testimony by his former personal lawyer and fixer Michael Cohen, would make a deal that endangered America’s national security and possibly decrease the chances of Pyonyang denuclearization. According to people familiar with conversations among the President’s senior national security officials, Trump told some advisers ahead of the Hanoi talks that he did not want to appear overly thirsty to secure a deal, hoping to prove wrong the myriad analysts who predicted he’d give away the store to demonstrate some type of progress. Trump insisted at a press conference that he and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un were executing a ‘nice walk’ away from the table — but what exactly happened in Vietnam isn’t at all clear, as both sides emerged with different stories in the hours after they packed up and headed home.”

Nicole Gaouette, Kylie Atwood and Kevin Liptak, “Abrupt end to Trump-Kim summit prompts sighs of relief, questions about what’s next,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, February 28, 2019 4:32 am

22,906. 2/27/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “All false reporting (guessing) on my intentions with respect to North Korea. Kim Jong Un and I will try very hard to work something out on Denuclearization & then making North Korea an Economic Powerhouse. I believe that China, Russia, Japan & South Korea will be very helpful!”

-Donald Trump, Twitter.com, February 27, 2019 4:45 am

22,902. 2/27/2019

NORTH KOREA/NUCLEAR/SANCTIONS/SUMMIT/TRUMP AS PRESIDENT: “President Donald Trump’s Hanoi summit with Kim Jong Un, meant to demonstrate his diplomatic gamble with North Korea is working, instead ended with no joint agreement after Kim insisted all US sanctions be lifted on his country. That was a bridge too far for the US President, who said Kim offered to take some steps toward dismantling his nuclear arsenal but not enough to warrant ending the debilitating sanctions regime on the country…But it was evident from early in the summit that Trump was seeking to tamp down expectations, repeating he’s in no rush to strike a deal even as North Korea continues to advance its nuclear weapons program…Trump cast the lack of deal as only a short-term disappointment, even though he’d hoped coming into the talks to be able to point to a new, concrete pathway toward denuclearization. A major agreement struck in Hanoi may also have pushed aside embarrassing headlines about Trump’s former lawyer Michael Cohen testifying the President is a racist conman.”

-Kevin Liptak and Jeremy Diamond, “‘Sometimes you have to walk’: Trump leaves Hanoi with no deal,” CNN Politics, CNN.com, February 27, 2019 3:46 am