President Donald Trump ended a two-day summit with Kim Jong Un Thursday without reaching an agreement on denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, telling reporters in Hanoi that he he not yet committed to another meeting with the North Korean leader.
A planned signing ceremony between the two leaders, outside the Metropole Hotel in the Vietnamese capital, was abruptly cancelled by the White House and both Trump and Kim declined to attend a scheduled lunch following their Thursday afternoon talks.
Trump told the media that the talks broke down over North Korean demands for the lifting of U.S. sanctions that the President felt were not matched by significant commitments on nuclear verification.
"Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, but we couldn't do that ... we had to walk away from it," Trump said, adding that it "wasn't a good thing to be signing anything."
"We have to have sanctions," Trump said. "They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas we wanted but we couldn't give up all the sanctions for that."
Trump, however, said that he could like to continue talks with the North Koreans and promised that he would not resume military rehearsals in the region.
"I gave that up quite a while ago because it costs us $100 million to do it," Trump explained. "I hated to see it. I thought it was unfair. Exercising is fun and it's nice they play their war games. I'm not saying its not necessary. On some levels it is. On other levels it's not."
He also said he wouldn't increase sanctions on Pyongyang and indicated he would reach out to various world leaders, including President Xi Jingping of China, to help improve the current deadlock.
"The two leaders discussed various ways to advance denuclearization and economic driven concepts," said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders. "No agreement was reached at this time, but their respective teams look forward to meeting in the future."