2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit
|2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit|
Logo used by the United States
Logo used by Vietnam
|Date||February 27–28, 2019|
|Venue(s)||Metropole Hanoi, Hanoi|
|Participants|| Kim Jong-un|
|Follows||2018 North Korea–United States Singapore Summit|
This article does not follow Wikipedia's guidelines on the use of different tenses. (March 2019) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit|
|North Korean name|
조미 2차 수뇌상봉
朝美 二次 首腦相逢
|South Korean name|
북미 2차 정상회담
北美 二次 頂上會談
The 2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit, commonly known as the Hanoi Summit, was a two-day summit meeting between North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump, held at the Metropole Hotel in Hanoi, Vietnam, on February 27–28, 2019. This was the second meeting between the leaders of the DPRK and the United States, following the first meeting in June 2018 in Singapore.
On February 28, 2019, the White House announced that the summit was cut short and that no agreement was reached. Trump later elaborated that it was because North Korea wanted an end to all sanctions. North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho asserted that the country only sought a partial lifting of five United Nations sanctions placed on North Korea during 2016–17.
- 1 Background
- 2 Announcement
- 3 Vietnam's reactions and preparations
- 4 Developments since June 2018 summit
- 5 Preparations
- 6 Meeting location
- 7 Summit meeting
- 8 Reactions
- 9 Satellite imagery of Sohae Launching Station
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
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The first North Korea–United States summit between Kim and Trump took place in June 2018 in Singapore with the objectives of resolving the long-term Korean conflict involving ICBM nuclear weapons, and denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. A series of bilateral summits were held between North Korea's Kim Jong-un, China's Xi Jinping, South Korea's Moon Jae-in, and Donald Trump of the United States.
The White House confirmed the planned summit between North Korean WPK Chairman Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump on September 11, 2018. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo stated that the DPRK and the U.S. were "working diligently" to make sure the conditions were right for the summit.
Vietnam's reactions and preparations
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Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Phạm Bình Minh visited North Korea at the invitation of DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho from February 12-14. The visit came ahead of the summit between Chairman Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump planned to take place in Hà Nội, Vietnam, on February 27 and 28, a spokeswoman from the Vietnamese Foreign Ministry said in a statement posted on Twitter.
Developments since June 2018 summit
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo appointed Stephen Biegun as United States Special Representative for North Korea on August 23, 2018.
In September 2018, The New York Times reported that "North Korea is making nuclear fuel and building weapons as actively as ever" but is doing so quietly, "allowing Mr. Trump to portray a denuclearization effort as on track." Two months later, The Times reported that North Korea appeared to be engaged in a "great deception" by offering to dismantle one missile base while developing sixteen others. The Times reported this expansion program was long known to American intelligence but contradicted Trump’s public assertions that his diplomacy was yielding results. Immediately following the June 2018 summit, Trump had declared "There is no longer a Nuclear Threat from North Korea ... sleep well tonight!"
In November 2018, North Korea repeated its demand that U.S. economic sanctions be lifted as a condition for proceeding with talks, while the Trump administration continued to insist that North Korea make concessions first. Meetings between Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean officials were scheduled, canceled due to disagreements, and then rescheduled. The February 2019 summit was confirmed after Kim Yong Chol, North Korea’s top negotiator, met with Trump in the Oval Office on January 18, 2019.
In the days leading up to the summit, Trump said that former president Barack Obama had been on the verge of going to war with North Korea, and had told Trump so during the transition, suggesting that Trump had pulled the U.S. back from the brink of war; former Obama aides denied these claims. Trump also suggested that he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for his diplomacy with North Korea, with the U.S. informally asking Japan to nominate Trump, according to Japanese newspaper Asahi Shimbun, which Shinzo Abe did according to the newspaper but Abe did not confirm or deny the reports as it has been tradition to keep nominations confidential. Noting that one of North Korea's primary objectives is to replace the Korean Armistice Agreement with a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War, Scott Snyder, the senior fellow for Korea studies at the Council on Foreign Relations, observed, "What I worry about is the president may want the peace most — more than the denuclearization...[o]ne of the big worries that people have is that somehow the president is going to trade the alliance for the prospect of a Nobel Peace Prize."
Top American intelligence officials testified to Congress in January 2019 that it was unlikely North Korea would fully dismantle its nuclear arsenal, and Trump national security advisor John Bolton continued to believe North Korea could not be trusted and denuclearization efforts would fail. Trump has asserted that North Korea’s pause of weapons testing since the Singapore summit was a sign of progress, but Bruce Klingner of the Heritage Foundation said there had been longer testing pauses during previous administrations.
Going into the summit, wide gaps persisted between the two countries, including exactly what denuclearization means. In January, Biegun had repeated the official American stance was that sanctions on North Korea would not be lifted until the country had fully denuclearized. On January 31, 2019, Biegun indicated that American negotiators might not demand that North Korea provide a full inventory of its nuclear and missile programs as a first step toward denuclearization, a demand that North Korea had been resisting.
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On October 7, 2018, Pompeo traveled to Pyongyang to negotiate the second summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim. Pompeo later met with Moon in Seoul to inform him of the upcoming summit.
On January 8, 2019, Kim Jong-un met with Chinese leader Xi Jinping to consult with him on the possibility of the Kim–Trump summit in Vietnam. On January 18, 2019, The White House announced that President Trump and North Korean Chairman Kim Jong-un would meet for the second time in February. On February 5, 2019, Trump announced during his State Of The Union address that the summit would take place on February 27–28 in Vietnam. On February 16, 2019, Reuters reported that Kim would arrive in Vietnam on February 25 ahead of the summit.
Train journey to Vietnam
Kim Jong-un departed from Pyongyang on February 23, according to images released by the KCNA news agency. The exact itinerary was kept secret. The 4,500 kilometres (2,800 mi) trip took about 60 hours. The train arrived in Đồng Đăng railway station of the Vietnamese border city of Đồng Đăng on Tuesday February 26, and Kim was scheduled to travel to Hanoi by vehicle.
Some experts analyzed the reason for long train trip instead of swift air travel, Kim Jong-un opts to follow his grandfather Kim Il Sung's footsteps in 1958 to Vietnam by using the train through a long journey.
Regarding the release from Bloomberg and the South Korean newspaper Munhwa Ilbo anticipated the location of the second Trump–Kim Summit as Vietnam's capital city, Hanoi, because Vietnam is a long-standing partner of DPRK, and there is also an excellent foreign relationship between Vietnam and the US. During the 2019 State of the Union Address, President Trump announced Vietnam as the host of the second meeting between the two leaders.
There was a list of several cities that were considered potential to host this event. It includes government direct-administered cities (Hanoi, Đà Nẵng, Hồ Chí Minh City) and some other places like Hạ Long, Nha Trang, Phú Quốc. However, Hanoi was said to be the best candidate for many reasons, such as being presented with the title “City for Peace” by the UNESCO, being the capital of Vietnam, and being a favorable place for Vietnamese leaders to meet DPRK leaders and USA leaders.
It was reported that when the city in Vietnam was still being discussed, the main contenders were Hanoi (favored by North Korea because it has its Embassy there) and Da Nang (favored by the United States because the 2017 APEC Vietnam summit was held there).
On February 8, 2019, President Trump confirmed that Hanoi was to host the summit meeting.
DPRK officials had repeatedly investigated the Government Guesthouse and the Sofitel Legend Metropole Hanoi, Hanoi's first international hotel. The summit was held at Sofitel Legend Metropole Hotel in Hanoi.
Meeting with Vietnamese leaders
President Trump met Vietnamese President and General Secretary Nguyễn Phú Trọng around at 11:42 am local time. They watched the Vietnamese airline executives sign a series of business deals with U.S. companies. Some examples of contracts were that VietJet Aviation JSC announced it would acquire 100 Boeing 737 MAX aircraft, and also signed an agreement to purchase CFM International LEAP engines and maintenance services from General Electric. Bamboo Airways signed a deal to buy 10 Boeing 787-9 aircraft.
At Hanoi’s Metropole Hotel, Trump and Kim had a one-on-one meeting for 30 minutes on Wednesday evening. They started the summit at 6:30 pm local time (6:30am Eastern Standard Time) with a handshake and then participated in a one-on-one meeting, with interpreters only.
President Donald Trump and Chairman Kim started with a social dinner in Hanoi on Wednesday. There were a few key attendees at the dinner; seated at the round table were U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and acting Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, DPRK Vice Chairman Kim Yong-chol, and Minister of Foreign Affairs Ri Yong-ho. President Trump assured North Korea a "tremendous future for your country" in his initial comments with Chairman Kim. Chairman Kim described the second summit as a "courageous political decision" by Trump and also added that there had been "a lot of thinking, effort, and patience" between now and previous June summit in Singapore.
During the one-on-one meeting in Hanoi, Kim was asked by a reporter if he would consider opening a US liaison office in Pyongyang. Kim initially hesitated to answer the question and asked Trump to excuse the press from the summit room, but Trump urged Kim to answer the question, to which he responded through an interpreter that the idea was “welcomeable”. Trump acknowledged the response as a positive one. After that, another reporter asked if Kim was willing to shut down his nuclear program, to which he responded, "If I’m not willing to do that, I wouldn’t be here right now." The leaders then went into a closed-room meeting. However, the planned working lunch between Trump and Kim was canceled, as well as the potential joint signing ceremony. After preliminary negotiations between Trump and Kim went over a period of time, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters waiting to cover the lunch that it had been called off.
End of summit
The White House on Thursday, February 28, 2019, announced that the summit was cut short and that no agreement was reached. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders did not tell reporters why the schedule was changed and whether there was going to be a signing ceremony. This unexpected turn of events caused stocks on the South Korea stock exchange to fall. President Trump said in a press conference after the summit in Hanoi that the summit was cut short because North Korea wanted an end to economics sanctions. President Trump elaborated by saying "Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that," Trump said. "We had to walk away from that particular suggestion. We had to walk away from that."
Hours later, in a rare move, North Korean officials called a news conference. North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho offered a different account of his country's position compared to Trump; that North Korea had proposed only a partial lifting of sanctions. Of a total of 11 United Nations sanctions, Ri stated that North Korea wanted 5 sanctions originally imposed in 2016 and 2017 lifted. In exchange, Ri said that North Korea offered to "permanently and completely" dismantle its primary nuclear facility in Yongbyon, and that American experts would be allowed to observe. Ri also quoted North Korea as proposing to put in writing that the country would end all nuclear tests and long-range missile tests. Ri continued that the North Koreans saw that no agreement could be made after the United States demanded one further measure in addition to destroying the Yongbyon nuclear facility. Lastly, Ri concluded that North Korea's proposal would not be changed.
During the press conference after the summit, Trump discussed American student Otto Warmbier, who was imprisoned for 17 months by North Korea for theft, and who died shortly after being returned comatose to the U.S. Trump said he believed Kim's word that Kim did not personally know about Warmbier's alleged poor treatment when Warmbier was in North Korean custody. Trump also argued that it was not to Kim's benefit to allow Warmbier to be treated poorly. Comparisons were made to Trump's previous promotions of the denial of Russian President Vladimir Putin regarding the responsibility for Russian interference in the 2016 United States elections and the denial of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the responsibility of the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi.
NBC News reported on the second day of the summit that American negotiators had dropped their demand that North Korea provide a detailed inventory of its nuclear and missile programs. NBC also quoted U.S. official's speech: the current focus of deal is the Yongbyon nuclear reactor. Nuclear scientist Dr. Siegfried Hecker claimed: "Yongbyon is the heart of North Korea's nuclear program, and if we are completely dismantling the Yongbyon nuclear facility, North Korea would never be able to make plutonium there again".
Cheong Seong-chang, vice president of research planning at the Sejong Institute in South Korea, said: "After the first Trump–Kim summit, for 260 days, they did not waste their timeliness. Instead, they continuously finalized their negotiation strategies for the two leaders' agreement and terms for the next step to be discussed on the second Trump–Kim summit."
BBC News believed that DPRK Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un could potentially learn from Vietnam's social, political and economic history during the second Trump-Kim summit. While the country has strict rules against political liberalization, it is fairly lax in their social, religious, and economic guidelines. Citizens were able to travel to neighboring countries often. Vietnam also pursued multi-front foreign policies so they would not be dependent on just one economy and built modern systems for banking and finance. According to the BBC, the DPRK can also learn from Vietnam's mistakes in the past regarding managing their natural resources and handling political unrest. The BBC believes these are some cases the DPRK could learn from Vietnam's practice to help them in improving their economy by attracting foreign investors and developing closer relations with other countries. It is also assumed by the BBC that Vietnam's economic reform is a better pattern for the DPRK to follow than China's.
Al Jazeera assumed that the impact of China on the second Trump–Kim summit would be significant. The relationship between China and North Korea is centered on "mutual benefit", but it differs from "mutual trust". Australian professor Carlyle Thayer claimed China and the DPRK are of the corresponding inclination after Kims' four visits to China and "it indicates some kind of coordination". China believes that it is impossible for North Korea to abruptly destroy nuclear missiles. However, it is hoped that North Korea's nuclear missile program will be shut down gradually, as economic sanctions against North Korea will be eased.
Andrew Kim, former head of the CIA's Korea Mission Center, believes in Supreme Leader Kim's genuine desire to achieve denuclearization and get a concession from the United States. In a speech Andrew Kim made on Friday, February 22, at Stanford University, Kim said that Supreme Leader Kim told United States Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "[that] he is a father and husband and he does not want his children to live their lives carrying nuclear weapons on their back". He also believes that the DPRK tried to strike a deal with previous administrations, but they waited too long, and they aim to finalize the deal with the Trump administration before it's too late. Kim assessed that the closure of the Yongbyon nuclear facility will be the beginning of full denuclearization and that this could lead to a peace treaty. The YongByon facility is known to be the center of nuclear development and research in North Korea. 
South Korea and Japan both supported Trump's decision to cut the summit short. However, a spokesman for South Korean President Moon Jae-in said "We do regret that President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong Un did not reach a complete agreement at today's summit,” but also that the summit "made more meaningful progress than any other time in the past."
A Monmouth University poll found that while 65% of those surveyed — including 42% of Democrats — agreed that holding the summit was a good idea, 44% said it was likely to help reduce the North Korean nuclear threat.
Jung Da-min, Staff Reporter at The Korea Times newspaper, believes that the Hanoi summit was not a total loss since it still resulted in diplomacy between the two countries. Though no concrete agreement regarding denuclearization was reached, DPRK President Kim was quoted last Tuesday (5th of March) that he was committed to the complete denuclearization of his country. However, the description of denuclearization seems to be different between the U.S. and North Korea, which was why Stephen Biegun, Special Representative for North Korea, advised that the U.S. will not accept a “phased denuclearization”. Even though no agreement was signed in Hanoi, both countries are open to future talks, which shows that some agreement was made regarding few agendas, like the installation of a liaison office in Pyongyang, North Korea . 
Hwang Jihwan, a Professor in the Department of International Relations at the University of Seoul, believes the no-deal outcome of the Hanoi summit was because both parties asked for more than what each could give. However, a no-deal is better than a bad-deal, and suggests that the two leaders should aim for realistic goals in future summits. Asking for huge deals from each other would not yield favorable results for both sides, but working on smaller, workable agreements that would be meritorious for both countries was better than leaving the negotiation table empty-handed. 
Dr. Chiew-Ping Hoo, a professor at the National University of Malaysia, said that the negotiations at the Hanoi summit changed the minute John Bolton was added at the eleventh-hour to the panel. He advised to change the goal-posts from the YongByon Nuclear site, to add other sites that produced weapons of mass destruction. Trump had to agree with Bolton’s advice due to U.S. domestic issues, which resulted in a no-deal outcome for the summit. She also believes that North Korea is not convinced that changing the deal is the right course, but to return to the pre-Hanoi agreement details. 
Former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan, and a senior fellow at the Cato Institute, Doug Bandow, compared the DPPK and US relations to that of Reagan and Gorbachev, where the agreement resulted in the end of the Cold War. President Trump was demanding unrealistically for President Kim Jong Un to dismantle all his nuclear facilities, whereas President Kim was only agreeing to shutting down the YongByon Nuclear facility in exchange for a partial lifting of a few UN sanctions against his country. Asking continuously for an all nukes for sanctions deal is deemed as malicious in its intent and illogical. This will put a strain in the US-North Korean relationship, which was volatile in the past, and could result in more problems for Washington and its allies in Asia. 
Joseph Yun, until March 2018 the American Special Representative for North Korea Policy, said of the summit's outcome, “This really speaks to the lack of preparation. You cannot draft a joint statement out of nothing. They never quite got around to building a consensus around sanctions, and that led to the deadlock.”
Veteran diplomacy and national security journalist Michael Gordon reported in The Wall Street Journal: "If the two sides had opted for the traditional bottom-up approach to diplomacy, their diplomats would have worked to close the divide and only arranged for a summit when they appeared to be within striking distance of an agreement. However, U.S. and North Korean diplomats have had only intermittent meetings since the June summit, and both sides bet they would be more successful by pressing their case at another summit. Mr. Kim calculated that Mr. Trump would be more flexible in agreeing to lift sanctions than his subordinates. Mr. Trump, for his part, assumed that he was the best person to pursue the art of the nuclear deal."
Richard Haass, president of the Council on Foreign Relations think tank, stated, “No deal is better than a bad deal, and the president was right to walk. But this should not have happened. A busted summit is the risk you run when too much faith is placed in personal relations with a leader like Kim, when the summit is inadequately prepared, and when the president had signaled he was confident of success.”
Trump faced harsh criticism for his supportive remark of Kim regarding the death of Otto Warmbier, including from Warmbier's family, who had previously expressed gratitude to the president after Otto's return home. Trump also faced criticism for calling Kim a "real leader" and paying him other compliments.
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi said that she was glad the president walked away from the second summit with the DPRK without a joint agreement. She also emphasized that "What we want is the denuclearization of North Korea," and she also believes that, although the DPRK wanted the sanctions lifted, but because they didn't agree to give up their nuclear weapons entirely, it was right that President Trump decided not to sign any deal.
Satellite imagery of Sohae Launching Station
Days after conclusion of the summit, private satellite imagery indicated that reconstruction of the Sohae ICBM launch site, which North Korea previously appeared to be dismantling, may have been underway even during the summit, and the site could be operational. A senior State Department official acknowledged “some level of reassembly” but stopped short of concluding the site was operational. Jenny Town, managing editor of 38 North, the influential site devoted to analysis of North Korea, remarked, “Given how much has been done at this site, it looks like more than a couple days’ worth of activity...It’s hard to say if it happened immediately after the summit and they just rushed everything — I guess it’s possible — but it’s more likely that it started just before.” South Korean National Intelligence Service chief Suh Hoon said there was recent transport vehicle activity at the Sanumdong ICBM factory. Some analysts believed that the renewed activity at Sohae and Sanumdong was designed to pressure Washington back to the negotiating table, rather than to actually restart the nuclear testing program. 
- Korean peace process
- Korean reunification
- North Korea–United States relations
- Nuclear power in North Korea
- 2018 North Korea–United States Singapore Summit (the first Trump–Kim summit)
- 2017–18 North Korea crisis
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