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The Trump-Kim Summit Crashes in Hanoi

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HANOI—Donald Trump, who once famously said he and Kim Jong Un “fell in love” after their tryst in Singapore last June, announced the failure of their second summit in the same time-honored words that have terminated many a great love affair. “We’ll end up being very good friends,” he said.

In practical terms, the negotiations here came to an abrupt halt Thursday after it became obvious both sides were getting nowhere with any of their demands.

The meltdown came as a shock after predictions on all sides that the two would surely issue a statement, however meaningless, pledging some semblance of cooperation beyond the vague commitment to “denuclearization” they signed after their initial summit in Singapore in June.

This time around, there were no boasts about the end of the North Korean nuclear threat and there is no clue, really, about where the U.S. and North Korea will go from here.

The best face Trump could put on it was to say that talks would continue— and he would keep shilling for North Korea as a great development prospect.

In concrete terms, the most that Trump could extract from Kim before walking out early from their meeting in the historic Metropole Hotel was the impression—not a guarantee—that Kim is not about to order more tests of nuclear warheads and long-range missiles as last conducted in 2017.

The summit broke down over the basic issue of sanctions versus denuclearization.

Kim demanded a complete end to sanctions that the U.S. and U.N. had imposed after those tests, and Trump refused to budge without a firm agreement that North Korea at last would get down to actually getting rid of its nuclear program, not just making token gestures in that direction.

Trump put on the table the U.S. call for closure of the North’s........

© The Daily Beast