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Trump-Kim Summit Ends with No Agreement; Trump Addresses Media as Summit Ends Early; Trump Says Kim Wanted All Sanctions Lifted At Vietnam Summit; Trump Speaks As Summit With Kim Ends With No Deal. Aired 2-3a ET
Aired February 28, 2019 - 02:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE (voice-over): This is CNN breaking news.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN ANCHOR: Hello, everyone, and welcome to the program. I'm Christiane Amanpour live in Hanoi, Vietnam, where Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un have wrapped up their second summit without any agreement.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN ANCHOR: And I'm Jim Sciutto and a pleasure to be alongside Christiane this morning. News this morning but perhaps not the news we were expecting.
We're expecting a news conference from Trump earlier than planned, a couple of hours earlier. This was supposed to have happened later today but everything changed in the last hour or so, when a planned lunch, a working lunch between the two leaders, failed to materialize. They had the table set. They had the menu set. It is not going to happen.
White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said that a signing ceremony also planned is not going to happen, either. The U.S. president spent the morning lowering expectations.
AMANPOUR: Indeed. He told reporters that he's hoping for a fantastic success. That was early this morning, when we first saw them walking around the pool and starting their meeting. He also said that perhaps success wouldn't come now but in the longer term.
He said when it comes to North Korea giving up its nuclear weapons, speed is not that important, according to Trump. Just hours ago Kim Jong-un told reporters he wouldn't be here if he wasn't ready denuclearize.
SCIUTTO: Chief White House correspondent Jim Acosta, who's traveling with the president.
Jim, this remarkable turn of events in the last hour. A planned lunch, not going to happen. A planned signing ceremony, not going to happen and the talks are running out, ending without an agreement. JIM ACOSTA, CNN SR. WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT: That's right. This thing fell apart quickly over the course of the afternoon here in Hanoi. We just got a statement from Sarah Sanders, the White House press secretary, in the last several minutes and it basically sums it up in short sentences. Really, just one sentence.
It says, no agreement was reached at this time but their respective teams look forward to meeting in the future. That's the statement coming from Sarah Sanders as to how these talks broke down.
As you mentioned a few moments ago, there were some promising moments leading up to this afternoon. The president was making some comments that I guess were designed at wooing the North Korean dictator to have some agreement at the conclusion of this summit.
But as you said they broke off the talks earlier this afternoon and decided not to have a signing statement, decided not to have a bilateral lunch. So the president moved up his press conference by two hours. And I saw administration officials, as we entered the room, scrambling to hang up the signs in this room just to get the room ready for the president to walk out here and talk to reporters.
Presumably he's going to lay out what went wrong behind the scenes. He was starting to tee this up as you mentioned earlier on, when he was telling reporters, well, I'm not interested in achieving something quickly. I want to have the right deal at the right time.
It appears that's the best the president can hope for. So it is strike one in Singapore and he didn't get a deal with Kim Jong-un and now it's strike two in Hanoi. Once again, no deal to denuclearize North Korea, something that he staked his presidency and his legacy on.
And in the backdrop of all this is what happened back in Washington up on Capitol Hill, with the House Oversight Committee and the president's former fixer, really just blasted away at his former boss and accused him of being a liar and cheat and a criminal basically in what was a bombshell hearing on the Hill.
The president presumably will be asked about that as well. He's steered clear of that conversation here in Hanoi. He's not tweeted about it really in the aftermath of Cohen's testimony. So these will be the first comments from the president.
I find that remarkable, that the president was able to hold his Twitter to a bare minimum here in Hanoi. We don't see that very often from the president. He's kept his powder dry. Presumably we will hear the president weigh in on it.
So add it all up, it is a very rough and rocky 24 hours for the president, pummeled back in Washington and pummeled here in Hanoi and going back to Washington empty-handed.
AMANPOUR: Jim, you been there, you're sort of watching and waiting and we're all going to wait to see how Trump lays out what just happened or didn't happen. What -- what do you think were the actual substantive reasons for not
coming to any kind of agreement?
We know expectations were low going in. But they hoped to say at least something about the --
AMANPOUR: -- future, let's say framework for discussions, even that.
What do you think were the points of disagreement?
ACOSTA: I think it boils down to Kim Jong-un's nuclear weapons program. They have been very resistant, as you know, on the North Korean end to offer a full accounting of their weapons program. If that is the case and they're certainly very resistant to denuclearizing altogether. The North Koreans would like to see the U.S. pull its troops out of the Korean Peninsula. That's not about to happen.
There was talk heading into the summit that perhaps they may sign some sort of agreement that declared an end to the Korean War. And we're not seeing that. Honestly, that would be a difficult thing to sell to the public and to leaders around the world because, quite honestly, you can't really declare an end to the war if Kim Jong-un won't fully denuclearize and the U.S. won't pull all of its troops or a majority of its troops out of the Korean Peninsula.
So I think when we assess all of this in the hours and days and weeks ahead, I think what will become clear is that the president staked a lot of his presidency on something that is just much more difficult than reality TV. This is not something that could be wrapped up in a season of "The Apprentice."
And the president made some very strong statements showing his affection for this North Korean dictator earlier on in the summit. He talked about having a very special relationship with North Korea and with Kim Jong-un, showing off the economic boom that has taken place in Vietnam is perhaps a road map for the North Koreans economically if they came back into the community of nations.
But at the end of the day, it just seems to be not enough for Kim Jong-un to put really his -- his -- his entire regime on the line, to take that kind of gamble with the president. It seems at this point he's just not ready to do that.
AMANPOUR: Jim, thanks very much.
Jim, we thought that they would even announce some kind of liaison officers in each other's capitals. So we bring in CNN's Will Ripley and also Ambassador Joseph Yun. Let's talk to you both about what might just have happened.
Obviously, we're conjecturing and speculating until the president gets up there and tells us what actually happened. But just to play off one of the first things Jim Acosta said, he's staking the bulk of all of this and getting this process unstuck on a personal relationship.
Was that wrong?
That seemed to be a good way of unblocking it.
JOSEPH YUN, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I think this speaks to a lack of preparation. You know, I've been to many summits. Usually summits involve so much working level work and, in fact, at a summit, an agreement is a foregone conclusion.
This time we saw very little preparation and I worried about that. And we talk about Singapore not having substance but at least Singapore we lay a foundation. So we were looking at something. And as you pointed out, the administration, we're lowering the bar every day. And yet they couldn't meet that, you know.
SCIUTTO: Will, I want to get your thoughts, too, because you've been covering this for some time. In light of your experience in negotiations like this, leading up to this, I've been told by members of President Trump's own administration that their chief concern was that the president would give up too much.
One example being a softening of the demand on a full nuclear accounting, one of those steps that would be preliminary to talks because you need the accounting to then negotiate how you draw back or draw down some of those weapons, missile and nuclear weapons programs.
Is there -- is there from possibly a -- a good side to this, that the president was willing to walk away rather than grant significant concessions without significant concessions in return from the North Koreans?
YUN: To me, the two issues that were the sticking point, is how much denuclearization and how much sanctions?
North Koreans insisted they had to get some sanctions relief. And the outside was insisting, well, not yet, guys. That's where I believe it broke off.
And -- and leading up to this, you know, it was obvious, Stephen Biegun, the negotiator, was not getting much satisfaction. He bumped it up to Pompeo. And he wasn't getting much satisfaction and finally bumped up to the leaders. We saw them actually getting along. So I was a little optimistic with the body language.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Based on what we know about North Koreans and their negotiating styles, and sticking to the script and the talking points, it is very unlikely they would then want to stick up this offer and cancel lunch. Perhaps this is Trump trying to reassert some power because the optics have been in Kim Jong-un's favor ever since he arrived.
President Trump jetlagged after a long flight on Air Force One; Kim Jong-un in a relaxing train journey for a couple of days --
[02:10:00] RIPLEY: -- in a luxury, heavily armored train.
SCIUTTO: And President Trump was carrying the burden of the Cohen testimony back home and his political challenges --
RIPLEY: So there has been a lot of speculation that he would be eager for a large headline to distract from all the chaos in Washington. This may be President Trump saying, at the end of the day, I'm still the president of the United States. You're still the leader of North Korea and I'm in control of the situation.
He felt like he had to take it back.
YUN: I have to think the drama in Washington played a big role.
If you're Kim Jong-un, you're watching this, you know.
You're saying is this what he's telling me?
That we have a great future, great relations?
Is this kabuki or what?
So you have to think he is -- he is also thinking about stepping back a bit.
AMANPOUR: You told me an interesting story when you were still negotiating. Stephen Biegun is now the person you used to be in regard to this portfolio, that then secretary of state Rex Tillerson wanted a meeting with the North Koreans but --
YUN: But they came back the next day and they said, we think Rex is going to get fired. We don't really want to see him. And they added, by the way, you, too, Yun. You know, so --
AMANPOUR: Then you left.
YUN: I left.
RIPLEY: No doubt they were watching closely and Kim Jong-un was getting updates about Michael Cohen. So they're also wondering who is going to be the president two years from now.
SCIUTTO: We have some news and this is reaction from South Korea. Extremely interested party in the talks, the South Korean government official telling CNN -- and I'm quoting here -- "The whole world was waiting for an agreement and so were we. We're as perplexed as the world now. We're in the process of figuring it out by reaching out to Biegun."
Of course, that's Stephen Biegun, referring to the special representative for North Korea.
That's remarkable when you talk about preparation and communication, that South Korea, America's treaty ally here and of course bordering North Korea, is surprised and perplexed by the outcome of these talks, indicating they weren't kept up to date on what was happening.
YUN: They were not being kept up to date. What surprised me even further is they would say that publicly, you know, showing the world, you know, guys, what the hell is going on?
SCIUTTO: Perplexed is a strong word for a diplomatic statement, is it not?
AMANPOUR: -- and all these characters. You've been traveling and you are traveling with the presidential delegation here, Michelle. Talk to us about where the South Koreans would be. And they say they tried to reach Stephen Biegun. He's the State Department representative on this.
What about Pompeo and his relationship with the North Koreans compared to what you heard Joseph Yun talk about between Tillerson and them?
MICHELLE KOSINSKI, CNN SENIOR DIPLOMATIC CORRESPONDENT: It is almost like, where do you begin?
KOSINSKI: Books could be written about what leads us up to this point. What we heard from South Korea -- and that was a real statement. When we heard that, it was like, thank you, South Korea, for really stating what they're thinking, looking at this.
When you consider what Trump has riding on this, everything that is going on domestically, how much his administration wanted some good headlines to come out of this, not to say that they were going to push it. I do think it is a positive thing that they didn't go for broke and try to give up something to get something small out of the North Koreans.
But to have nothing come out of this, not even a positive headline, something like the exchange of the liaison officers or that we hammered out a road map, it just points to, where was all of this hype supposed to go?
This is the argument that critics make for not having the legwork and all of the groundwork done so that the two leaders can show up, shake hands and sign off on it and maybe use their relationship to take things even further.
Doing this top down is what the administration likes to say is -- what is great about that. What sets them apart from past administration failures.
But this is an argument, what we're seeing right now, for doing it the old way with having negotiators go in there and do the work before the leaders meet. You mentioned Pompeo working this out. There's a long history here. When you think about Pompeo on one of his first trips going over there to North Korea, after the first summit, there was momentum after Singapore. There was, wow, this really happened. Now we can get things done. We're sending Mike Pompeo right over there. A fresh start so he could meet.
And that meeting went about as badly as it could have gone, according to our sources. There was trouble dealing with Kim Yong-chol. He's the old-school --
KOSINSKI: -- hardline negotiator. There was a stalemate and a real slowdown for a matter of about three months, where the North Koreans weren't showing up, weren't picking up the phone and weren't talking. Then that ice was broken and it seemed like there was some progress going on, on the lower level.
But still, this was a very quick period of time leading to the second summit. I think if you were optimistic, you would say, oh, wow, so much progress must be being made that they're able to have this summit and get something done.
And now we're seeing just the opposite was true.
SCIUTTO: The president is joining right now. Let's listen to what the president has to say.
DONALD TRUMP (R), PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're in Hanoi. It's an incredible city and what's happened over the last 25 years has been incredible for the people of Vietnam, the job they've done, economic development. Really something special.
So I want to thank all of the people of Vietnam for having treated us so well. We have, I think, reasonably attractive news from Pakistan and India. They've been going at it and we've been involved in trying to have them stop.
And we have some reasonably decent news. I think hopefully that's going to be coming to an end. It's been going on for a long time, decades and decades. There's a lot of dislike, unfortunately. So we've been in the middle trying to help them both out, see if we can get some organization and some peace. And I think probably that's going to be happening.
We have Venezuela, as you know, has been very much in the news and we're sending supplies. Supplies are getting through a little bit more. It's not easy. It's hard to believe somebody would say let's not do it. What difference would that make except it's great for his people to let it get through.
But we're sending a lot of supplies down to Venezuela. People are starving to death. And you would really think that the man in charge currently would let those supplies get through. We are getting them into some of the cities and some of the areas that need them most and it's not an easy job. It's very difficult actually. On North Korea, we just left Chairman Kim, who had a really, I think,
a very productive time. We thought and I thought and Secretary Pompeo felt that it wasn't a good thing to be signing anything. I'm going to let Mike speak about it.
But we literally just left; we spent pretty much all day with Kim Jong-un, who is -- he's quite a guy and quite a character. And I think our relationship is very strong. But at this time, we had some options and at this time we decided not to do any of the options and we'll see where that goes.
But it was -- it was a very interesting two days. And I think actually it was a very productive two days. But sometimes you have to walk. And this was just one of those times and I'll let Mike speak to that for a couple of minutes, please.
MIKE POMPEO, U.S. SECRETARY OF STATE: Thank you, Mr. President. We had been working, our teams -- the team that that I brought to bear, as well as the north Koreans for weeks, so we could make a big step along the way towards what the two leaders had agreed to back in Singapore in June of last year.
We made big progress and indeed we made even more progress when the two leaders met over the last 24-36 hours. Unfortunately, we didn't get all the way to something 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 run-up 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. [02:20:00]
TRUMP: Major, please.
MAJOR GARRETT, CBS NEWS HOST: (INAUDIBLE).
Has this process been more difficult than you thought and was the North Korean demand for lifting of some sanctions the real sticking point here, in that you did not want to do that and they did -- (CROSSTALK)
TRUMP: It was about the sanctions.
GARRETT: Will there be a third summit, Mr. President?
TRUMP: Basically they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn't do that. They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted but we couldn't give up all of the sanctions for that, so we'll continue to work and we'll see. But we had to walk away from that particular suggestion. We had to walk away from that.
GARRETT: Will all the sanctions that are currently in existence remain, sir?
TRUMP: They're in place. I was watching as a lot of you folks over the weeks have said, oh, we've given up -- we haven't given up anything. And I think frankly we'll be good friends with Chairman Kim and North Korea and I think they have tremendous potential.
I've been telling everybody they have tremendous potential, unbelievable potential but we're going to see. But it was about sanctions. They wanted sanctions lifted but they weren't willing to do an area we wanted. They were willing to give us areas but not the ones we wanted -- John.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: As we know, I mean there's an incredibly complex set of issues that are at play here in terms of lifting sanctions and what denuclearization is. Did you get any resistance towards what --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: -- there's a line of thinking that he wants to keep some nukes. I mean, would you allow him to do that?
TRUMP: I want to comment -- excuse me, I don't want to comment on that exactly but he has a certain vision and it's not exactly our vision but it's a lot closer than it was a year ago. And I think, you know, eventually we'll get there. But for this particular visit we decided that we had to walk and we'll see what happens. OK?
Oh, look, we have a gentleman nobody's ever heard.
Sean Hannity, what are you doing here Sean Hannity?
Should we let him do a question?
John, go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: So if he wants the sanctions completely off and you want more on denuclearization, how can you bridge that gap?
TRUMP: With time I think it'll be bridged at a certain point but there is a gap. We have to have sanctions and he wants to denuke but he wants to just do areas that are less important than the areas that we want. We know the country very well, believe it or not. We know every inch of that country and we have to get what we have to get because that's a big give.
Yes, Sean, please.
SEAN HANNITY, FOX NEWS HOST: I work in radio and TV.
Mr. President, thank you.
Mr. Secretary, good to see you.
Mr. President, if you could elaborate a little bit more. We have some history. President Reagan walked away, a lot of condemnation at the time and it ended up working out very well in the end for the United States.
Was this mostly your decision?
And what message would you want to send Chairman Kim as he's listening to this press conference about the future and your relationship?
TRUMP: Well, Sean, I don't want to say it was my decision because what purpose is that?
I want to keep the relationship and we will keep the relationship. We'll see what happens over the next period of time. But as you know we've got our hostages back. There's no more testing.
And one of the things importantly that Chairman Kim promised me last night is regardless he's not going to do testing of rockets and nuclear -- not going to do testing. So you know, I trust him and I take him at his word. I hope that's true.
But in the meantime we'll be talking. Mike will be speaking with his people. He's also developed a very good relationship with the people -- really the people representing North Korea.
I haven't spoken to Prime Minister Abe yet. I haven't spoken to President moon, South Korea. But we will and we'll tell them it's a process and it's moving along but we felt it wasn't appropriate to sign an agreement today. We could have, I just felt it wasn't appropriate.
JONATHAN KARL, ABC NEWS CORRESPONDENT: Thank you, Mr. President. Two questions, if I may.
First, did you learn anything new about Chairman Kim through this meeting?
And secondly, of course, while this was going on and the drama --
KARL: -- back in Washington, your former lawyer, Michael Cohen, who worked for you for 10 years, his office right by yours at trump tower, he called you a liar, a con man, a racist.
What's your response to Michael Cohen?
TRUMP: Well, it's incorrect. And it's very interesting because I tried to watch as much as I could. I wasn't able to watch too much because I've been a little bit busy but I think having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit is really a terrible thing.
They could have made it two days later or next week and it would have been even better. They would have had more time. But having it during this very important summit is sort of incredible. And he lied a lot but it was very interesting because he didn't lie about one thing, he said no collusion with the Russian hoax.
And I said I wonder why he didn't lie about that, too, like he did about everything else. I was actually impressed that he didn't say, well, I think there was collusion for this reason or that. He didn't say that. He said no collusion.
And I was a little impressed by that, frankly. He could have gone all out. He only went about 95 percent instead of 100 percent. But the fact is there is no collusion and I call it the witch hunt. This should never happen to another president. It's so bad for our country, so bad.
You look at this whole hoax and I call it the Russian witch hunt and I now add the word hoax. It's very bad for our country. But I was impressed with the fact -- the most important question up there was the one on collusion and he said he saw no collusion, so we'll see what happens. But it was pretty shameful, I think.
Yes, ma'am, please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Trump?
TRUMP: How about one of you instead of three.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Actually I do have the microphone, I guess so --
TRUMP: Excuse me, excuse me. Person in the front go ahead. No, no, not you. Yes, we'll get to you, thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, President trump.
What was the atmosphere like when you walked away from the negotiation table and --
TRUMP: I think it was very good, very friendly. This wasn't a walk away like you get up and walk out. No, this was very friendly. We shook hands. We -- you know, there's a warmth that we have and I hope that stays. I think it will.
But we're positioned to do something very special. This has been going on for many decades. This isn't me. This should have been solved during many presidential runs and, you know, people talked about it. They never did anything.
I get a kick out of so many people from past administrations telling me how to negotiate when they were there in some cases for eight years, they did nothing. But I think the relationship was very warm and, when we walked away, it was a very friendly walk.
Mike, you might want to speak to that for a second.
POMPEO: No, I agree. I talked with my counterparts as well. We hope we do more but everyone's very focused on how we continue to build on this. We were certainly closer today than 36 hours ago and we're closer than we were a month or two before that.
So real progress was made. I think everybody hoped we could do this a little bit better but the departure was with an agreement we continue to work on what has been an incredibly difficult problem. Both sides resolved to achieve it and everyone walked away in that spirit.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: And may I add, you and Chairman Kim are from very political systems. You are from different generations --
TRUMP: It's a very different system. I would say that's true.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: How do you find with you guys in common?
Because we saw that --
TRUMP: We just like each other. We have a good relationship. Yes, it's a different system to put it mildly but we like each other. Good relationship.
Go ahead in the back. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, do you think it was premature to have held the summit when all these things had not been tied down?
I mean the White House schedule last night it said signing agreement today and wonder as a follow-up question, whether you could sketch out what the next few months look like.
TRUMP: You always have to be prepared to walk. I could have signed an agreement today and then you people would have said, oh, what a terrible deal, what a terrible thing he did. No, you have to be prepared to walk.
And there was a potential we could have signed something -- I could have 100 percent signed something today. We actually had papers ready to be signed but it just wasn't appropriate. I'd much rather do it right than do it fast.
Yes, please, go ahead. Go ahead. Go. First, go. Yes?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE).
TRUMP: You have to speak up.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes. Yes. I'm from South Korea and I appreciate you effort to advance denuclearization in Korean peninsula. And could you elaborate on the options and the various ways that you discussed with Chairman Kim to advance denuclearization? Could you specify?
TRUMP: We discussed many ways. And the denuclearization is a very important -- it's a very important word. Become a very well-used word. And a lot of people don't know what it means but to me it's pretty obvious, we have to get rid of the nukes. I think he's got a chance to have one of the most successful countries rapidly too on earth. Incredible country, incredible location.
You're right between, if you think of it you have one side Russia and China and the other you have South Korea and you're surrounded by water and among the most beautiful shorelines in the world is tremendous potential in North Korea and I think he's going to lead it to a very important thing economically. I think it's is going to be an absolute economic power. Yes. go ahead, please. Go ahead.
DAVID SANGER, THE NEW YORK TIMES CHIEF WASHINGTON CORRESPONDENT: President, Sanger, David Sanger from The New York Times.
TRUMP: I know, David.
SANGER: Six months ago when you spoke or eight months ago in Singapore, you said if you didn't have something in six months we should come back and ask you about it. In that time you have seen Chairman Kim increase the number of missiles he's produced and continue to produce more nuclear material. And that's been a pressure point on you because you're showing the arsenal is getting larger while this is going on.
TRUMP: Well, some people, David, are saying that and some people are denying that. They have shots from above, way above. And some people are saying that and some aren't. But I could have taken that out today but I think you and others would have said we didn't get enough for what we'd be giving up. So, and, you know, don't forget we're partners with a lot of countries on this, if you think about it with the sanctions.
We have a whole big partnership with the United Nations and many countries including Russia, China and others. And then of course, South Korea is very important to this whole thing. And Japan, I don't want to do something that is going to violate the trust that we built up. We have a very strong partnership.
SANGER: So can you just give us a little me more detail that you get into the question of actually dismantling the Yongbyon Complex?
TRUMP: Yes. Absolutely.
SANGER: And does he seem willing ultimately -- TRUMP: Totally.
SANGER: -- take all of that out.
TRUMP: Sure. Totally.
SANGER: He does. He just wants all the sanctions off --
TRUMP: He would do that but he wants the sanctions for that. And as you know, there's plenty left after that. And I just felt it wasn't good. Mike and spent a long time negotiating and talking about it to ourselves and just -- I felt that that particular as you know, that facility while very big it wasn't enough to do what we were doing.
SANGER: So he's willing to do Yongbyon but you wanted more than that? I assume --
TRUMP: We had to have more than that. Yes. We had to have more than that. There's other things that you haven't talked about that you haven't written about that we found. And we have to have. That was done a long time ago but the people didn't know about it.
SANGER: Included the second enrichment plant?
TRUMP: Exactly. And we brought many points up that I think they were surprised that we know. But we had to do more than just the one level because if we did the one level and we gave up all of that leverage has been taken a long time to build. And I want to tell you --
SANGER: He was not willing to take out that second --
TRUMP: -- I want to take off the sanctions so badly because I want that country to grow. That country has got such potential but they have to give up and we could have done the deal. Mike, you want to speak to that?
MIKE POMPEO, UNITED STATES SECRETARY OF STATE: Only, David, there are also time and sequencing issues that were associated with that as well which we didn't quite get across the finish line as well. But remember too, even that facility, even the Yongbyon facility and all of its scope which is important for sure still leaves missiles, still leaves warheads and weapon systems, so there's a -- there's a lot of elements that we just couldn't get to.
SANGER: And the listing of all of them.
POMPEO: Yes, sir. And the declaration. So, all of those things we couldn't quite get there today. SANGER: All right.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Mr. President.
TRUMP: Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: I just wanted to clarify. When you talk about what you would be willing to give up all of the sanctions for, are you still thinking that you want North Korea to give up everything to do complete verifiable denuclearization before you lift sanctions?
TRUMP: Yes. It's a good question. I don't want to say that to you because I don't want to put myself in that position from the standpoint of negotiation. But, you know, we want a lot to be given up and we're giving up. And we'll have to, you know, we'll be helping them along economically us and other -- many other countries. They will be helping. They're going to be in there, they're prepared to help.
I can tell you, Japan, South Korea, I think China, so many. And speaking of China, we're very well on our way to doing something special. But we'll see. I mean, am always prepared to walk.
[02:35:01] I'm never afraid to walk from a deal and I would do that with China too if it didn't work out.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Are you concerned if you're not able to reach an agreement that the testing will start again or that while of this time --
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: -- continuing to develop their program?
TRUMP: He said the testing will not start. He said that he's not going to do testing of rockets or missiles or anything having to do with nuclear. And all I can tell you is that's what he said and we'll see. Yes. Go ahead, please. Go ahead, please. In the back. Red, in the red.
JESSICA STONE, WHITE HOUSE CORRESPONDENT, CGTN: Thank you. Thank you, Mr. President.
TRUMP: Yes, thank you.
STONE: Jessica Stone from CGTN. I have a question about China as you were talking about, you talk about China being willing potentially to help economically and the fact that you've talk -- you will talk to Presidents Moon and Prime Minister Abe, how would you describe China's role in facilitating the engagement that's happened so far between Pyongyang and Washington? TRUMP: I think China has been a big help. Bigger than most people
know. On the border as you know, 93 percent of the goods coming into North Korea come through China, so there's a great power there. At the same time I believe -- I happen to believe that North Korea is calling its own shots and not taking orders from anybody. He's a very strong guy and they're able to do things that are pretty amazing.
But 93 percent still come in from China. China has an influence and China has been a big help. And Russia has been a big help too. As you know, there's a pretty small part of the border but nevertheless significant about 28 miles and things can happen there too and they've been a help.
TRUMP: Yes. Go ahead, please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks, President (INAUDIBLE) of China. Your meeting with Chairman Kim this morning and yesterday, did the topic of China come up? If so, what can you share with us today, and you probably will have the end of the Mar-a-Lago summit in March with Chinese President XI jinping. What would you like accomplished with your agenda regarding China at the time?
TRUMP: We did talk about China today a lot, and he's getting along with China and so are we. And we are, you know, we're right now, you look at what's happened today our country and we've picked up trillions and trillions of dollars of net worth. The stock market is almost at its all-time high, our economy is incredible. Our unemployment numbers are among the best we've ever had in our history.
Individual groups like African-American, women, you just take a look at any group, Hispanic, you just saw that came out the best in history. African-American the best in history. So many different numbers are coming out. So we have the strongest economy probably possibly that we've ever had.
Fiat Chrysler just announced they're going to spend $4.9 billion right next to Detroit and Michigan. They're building a tremendous plan, it's actually an expansion of another plant. It's going to be -- it's going to double up their jobs and even more than that. A lot of great things are happening, and with China they're having some difficulties as you know. But I think a lot of the difficulties because of the tariffs that they're having.
And in addition to that we're putting a tremendous amount of money. You saw trade deficits went down last month, everyone is trying to find out why, well, we're taking a lot of tariff money. And it's going right to the bottom line and it has reduced the trade deficit. So we'll see what happens with I think we have a very good chance. Their numbers are down, but I don't want that, I want their -- I want them to do great. But wave been losing anywhere from 300 to $500 billion a year with China for many, many years.
And, again, like other things many presidents should have done this before me, and nobody did. So we're doing it. Go ahead. Go ahead, please. Right here, this gentleman. UNIDENTIFIED MALE: (INAUDIBLE) from N.K. News specialist, North Korean News. What's your message for President Moon who has effectively reached the glass ceiling as far as inter-Korean cooperation is concerned due to sanctions, and what's next for U.S. ROK military drills?
TRUMP: Well, I like President Moon very much. We have a great relationship. Believe it or not, I have a great relationship with almost every leader. A lot of people find that hard to understand, but I do. But some take advantage of our country like you wouldn't believe. And when they know I know it, which I know in every case maybe it sort of freezes them up a little bit, but we do. We have a lot of good relationships.
We'll be calling President Moon very soon, as soon as I get by the phone on the plane. And he will be one of the first calls. I'll be calling Prime Minister Abe of Japan telling him about where we are and what we're doing.
[02:40:04] But I'll be making those calls. Now he's working very hard. President Moon is working very hard, he'd love to see a deal, and he's been very helpful. OK? Thank you. Go ahead, please.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. President. I'm (INAUDIBLE) reporter from Global Times China. I would like to ask you that what you expecting China to do in the next step to mediate your relationship with North Korea? Thank you.
TRUMP: To use China?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes. From China,
TRUMP: Well, we do. I mean, China has been very helpful. President XI is a great leader, he's a highly respected leader all over the world and especially in Asia. And he's helped us -- Mike, I would say he's helped us a lot, right?
TRUMP: We've -- I actually called him just recently to say, hey, you know, whatever you can do on this but he has been very helpful at the border and he's been very, very helpful with I think North Korea generally. Could he be a little more helpful? Probably. But he's been -- he's been excellent. Go ahead, please. Yes, please.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Sorry (INAUDIBLE)
TRUMP: Dear friends.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thanks, Mr. President. Could you -- did you commit with Chairman Kim to a next summit during your term?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: OK.
TRUMP: We'll see if it happens, it happens. And I have not committed.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: They are at this point some would say a nuclear power. Do you accept North Korea as a -- as a nuclear-armed state at least for the time being? And are you thinking about reimposing the military exercises with South Korea or will you keep it in a freeze --
TRUMP: Well, you know, the military exercises, I gave that up quite a while ago because it cost us $100 million every time we do it. We fly these massive bombers in from Guam, and when I first started a certain general said, oh, yes sir, we fly them in from Guam, it's right next door. Well, right next door is seven hours away and then they come and they drop millions of dollars of bombs and then they go back.
But we would spend -- I mean, we spend hundreds of millions of dollars on those exercises, and I hated to see it. I thought it was unfair. And frankly, I was sort of the opinion that South Korea should help us with that. You know, we're protecting South Korea. I think they should help us with that. So those exercises are very expensive. And I was telling the generals, I said, look, you know, exercising is fun and it's nice and they -- I play -- play the war games.
And I'm not saying it's not necessary because on some levels it is, but on other levels it's not. But it's a very, very expensive thing and, you know, we do have to think about that, too. But when they spend hundreds of millions of dollars on those exercises, we don't get reimbursed. We're spending a tremendous amount of money on many countries protecting countries that are very rich that can certainly afford to pay us and then some.
And those countries -- by the way, and those countries know that it's not right. But nobody's ever asked them before, but I've asked them and we're doing -- we're gaining a lot of money. We've picked up over $100 billion just in NATO over the last two years, $100 billion. More has come in. And we're doing that with a lot of countries. You'll be seeing that a lot. Yes, sir, please. Yes. One second, please.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Yes, thank you, Mr. President. You have a personal relationship and I believe Vice President Pence does with the family of Otto Warmbier. I'm wondering you've talked about this week's -- about Kim Jong-un being my friend. You called him on Twitter, you said you had a great relationship. Have you in Singapore or here confronted Kim Jong-un about Otto Warmbier's death?
TRUMP: I have.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Asked him to take responsibility and what did he say to you and why do you call him your friend?
TRUMP: I have. And I have and I have talked about and I really don't think it was in his interest at all. I know the Warmbier family very well. I think they're an incredible family. What happened is horrible. I really believe something very bad happened to him and I don't think that the top leadership knew about it. And when they had to send him home -- by the way, I got the prisoners back, I got the hostages back.
And Otto was one of the hostages but Otto came and shaped that was not even to be talked about. I find it -- I thought it was horrible. Now, the others came back extremely healthy but Otto came back in a condition that was just terrible. And I will -- I did speak about it and I don't believe that he would have allowed that to happen. It just wasn't to his advantage to allow that to happen.
Those prisons are rough, they're rough places and bad things happened. But I really don't believe that he was -- he -- I don't believe he knew about it.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Did he say -- did he tell you that he did not -- did Kim Jong-un tell you --
[02:45:00] TRUMP: He felt badly about it. I just speak to him. He felt very badly. He knew the case very well, but he knew it later. And -- you know, you got a lot of people, big country, a lot of people.
And in those prisons and those camps, you have a lot of people. And some really bad things happened to Otto. Some really, really, bad thing.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Why are you --
TRUMP: But he tells me -- he tells me that he didn't know about it, and I will take him at his word.
Yes ma'am, go ahead, please. Please, go ahead, in the back. No, in the back, behind you. Thank you.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Mr. President, (INAUDIBLE) Valentino, Sputnik news agency. Have you discussed the issue of possible inspections to North Korea nuclear sites during your negotiation --
TRUMP: You been have to -- you been have to speak a little louder? And where are you from? Where are you from?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Russia's, Sputnik news agency. Have you discussed the issue of possible inspections to North Korea's -- North Korea's nuclear sites with your -- during your talks with the -- with the Chairman?
TRUMP: Why don't you answer that one? OK. I would -- good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Inspections, inspections, nuclear sites.
TRUMP: Oh, inspections.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: International inspections, yes.
TRUMP: Inspections on North Korea?
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes, inspections to the nuclear sites.
TRUMP: I would be able -- yes. Would be able to do that very easily. We have that setup, so we would be able to do that very easily. The inspections on North Korea will take place and we'll -- if we do something with them, we have a schedule set up that is very good.
We know things that as David was asking about certain places and certain sites. There are sites that people don't know about that we know about. We would be able to do inspections. We think very, very successfully. Yes ma'am, please, please.
Yes, go ahead, please. Yes.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Thank you, Mr. President.
TRUMP: A lot of people here, by the way. That big group of people.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Yes.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Kan News, Israel, Mr. President.
TRUMP: Good, good.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: Following this engagement with the North Korea, you're trying to bring peace to the Middle East.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: The peace plan is about to be introduced in the near future and as you have mentioned before --
TRUMP: No, we hope -- we hope. We're working hard on the peace plan and we hope it will be --
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: I believe you do. But as you mentioned before, it will require Israel to make compromises to the Palestinians. As far as you know, is Prime Minister Netanyahu willing to make these compromises which are very much needed? And a second question, Mr. Netanyahu is about to be indicted today in -- with corruption allegations. Do you wish to tell him something on this occasion?
TRUMP: Well, I just think he is been a great Prime Minister. And I don't know about his difficulty, but you tell me something that -- you know, who people have been hearing about. But I don't know about that. I could say this that he has done a great job as Prime Minister. He's tough, he's smart, he's strong. He is very defensive, his military has been built up a lot. They buy a lot of equipment from the United States. And they pay for it. Of course, we give them tremendous -- as you know, subsidy also.
$4 billion is a lot each year. But they are -- they've been very, very good. They've been incredible actually in many ways, but there is a chance for peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
You know, it's interesting. All my life, I've heard that the toughest of all deals, when they talked about tough deals -- we all like deals. But the toughest of all deals would be peace between Israel and the Palestinians. They say it's like the impossible deal. I'd love to be able to produce it. We'll see what happens.
You know, we were paying to Palestinians a lot of money, and I ended that about two years ago because they weren't saying the right things. And I said, why would we pay somebody that's not saying nice things about us and not really wanting to go to the peace table?
And they've been much better, and we'll see what happens.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: But is make sure Netanyahu makes concessions?
TRUMP: But I think we really -- I think we have actually a good shot at peace between Israel and the Palestinians.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: As Netanyahu makes a concession?
TRUMP: Yes, go ahead, please, sir?
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Mr. President, I'm from China. My question is, so, do you still -- is do you believe it is possible that's the North Korea and U.S. relation could have be like the U.S. and Netanyahu relation in the future?
TRUMP: You have to go again.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Do you believe -- do you still believe that it is possible that relation between U.S. And North Korea in the future, could it be like the relation between the U.S. And Vietnam?
TRUMP: Yes, I think, we're going to have -- yes. And we have very, very good relations. And by the way, speaking of, you mentioned Japan. We have a lot of good things happening with Japan. We have trade talks started.
For years, Japan has been sending millions and millions of cars in, and as you know, it's not been a very fair situation for the United States. We're starting trade talks with Japan.
They actually started about three months ago, and I think we'll have a very good deal for the United States. But that's been a very unfair situation. Prime Minister Abe understands that, and that's fine.
Yes, sir, please, back there.
[02:50:03] UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Thank you, Mr. President. I'm (INAUDIBLE) with Shanghai Media Group. Do you think that the next meeting could be soon or might take some time?
TRUMP: What I can tell you -- I mean, it might be soon, it might not be for a long time. I can't tell you. I would hope it would be soon. But it may not be for a long time.
I could have done -- I could have done a deal today, but it would have been a deal that wouldn't have been a deal that I would have been something that I wouldn't have been happy about, Mike would not have been happy about. We had some pretty big options, but we just felt it wasn't appropriate. And we really want to do it right.
Yes, in the back, in the back. Yes ma'am, please.
DEBI EDWARD, ASIA CORRESPONDENT, ITV NEWS: Debi Edward, ITV News. At which point did it become clear to you that you wouldn't be getting a deal here in Hanoi? The language from yourself and Kim Jong-un was very positive last night and even this morning. And therefore, was it a mistake to come here?
TRUMP: No, I think the language was good all throughout. The language has been good even now. But -- you know, I don't go by language because we had probably the toughest language in the history of diplomacy if you call it diplomacy at the beginning. And yet, we became very friendly.
I don't believe there was any tougher language ever than that. But again this was something that should have been handled by other presidents long before me. And long before they had the kind of power that they have, but it wasn't. It should have been done by many. I'm not just blaming the Obama administration, which, by the way, that it did nothing, nothing. The absolutely nothing on North Korea.
It allowed things that happen and to happen that were very inappropriate. But I'm not blaming the Obama administration. I'm blaming many administrations. Something should have happened. But I don't think the rhetoric's been bad at all. Initially, it was horrible but now it's been very good.
All right, one more. How about you? Go ahead, please, please, go ahead. Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) South Korea (INAUDIBLE) come from South Korea.
TRUMP: Go ahead.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: (INAUDIBLE) South Korean media outlet here. I'd like to ask you, you said that we do not particularly know when they will be North Korean leader will be willing to come to the table and take the actions that's been required.
If that's the case, would the U.S. be willing to strengthen the sanctions and perhaps put the pressure on North Korea to move forward --
(CROSSTALK) TRUMP: I don't want to comment on that. I could just tell you this that we have very strong sanctions. I don't want to talk about increasing sanctions. They're strong. They have a lot of great people in North Korea that have to live also. And that's important to me.
And I would say this, my whole attitude changes a lot because I got to know as you know Chairman Kim very well. And they have a point of view also. So, I don't want to really talk about that. I just think that hopefully, for the sake of South Korea, for the sake of Japan, and frankly for the sake of China, I was talking to President Xi who really is a man that gets the respect of a lot of people.
I say you can't love having a nuclear state right next to China, and he doesn't. He really doesn't. I would -- he would like to see that problem solve too. So, that's it.
Well, ladies and gentlemen, I'm about to get on a plane and fly back to a wonderful place called Washington, D.C. So, thank you very much. Thank you. Thank you, fellas. Thank you very much.
JIM SCIUTTO, CNN CHIEF NATIONAL SECURITY CORRESPONDENT: Well, that was quite a press conference from the president. You have to say it was visibly, tangibly muted in those comments after expressing so many high hopes, showing somewhat appeared to be a rapport with the North Korean leader. In the moments, leading up and then, abruptly turning around and walking away.
As he said, repeatedly, called it a friendly walk away. And, of course, that some of that comes straight out of part of the deal. When you got to walk away, you walk away. But he is leaving for a second time without a substantive nuclear.
CHRISTIANE AMANPOUR, CNN CHIEF INTERNATIONAL ANCHOR: Without a substantive nuclear agreement I know our guests and our analysts will say, the first time in Singapore was important for building a foundation. But this time, it is important for leaving with nothing. Not even a peripheral deal.
AMANPOUR: And I think that's really important. I think, just to sum up what the president said, he says that the North Koreans Kim Jong-un wanted in his words sanctions lifted in their entirety and we could not do that they offered to denuke as he said, but not as far as we wanted to go.
He said that Kim Jong-un had promised not to restart any of the nuclear or missile testing. And that he takes him at his word on that. And that he hopes that their continued good relationship which he continues to stand by is the sort of bedrock for continuing some kind of progress on this.
SCIUTTO: And it's interesting that the president -- you know, clearly sanctions was the deciding factor here that they couldn't get to an agreement. But the president was pressed as to whether he is still holding North Korea to the same standard. He and his administration defined from early on. Which is complete verifiable, irreversible denuclearization.
And the president notably, I think, said, "I don't want to go there in effect. I don't want to put myself in that position." And then, I'm quoting for him -- from him, "We want a lot to be given up." We want a lot to be given up. He does not reiterate the administration stand that it all -- the entire nuclear program must be given up. That was a significant moment.
[02:55:26] AMANPOUR: So we just have about a minute before we have to go to the top of the hour. From your perspectives, what were the standouts and is it very disappointing? Is there hope for the future?
JOSEPH YUN, CNN GLOBAL AFFAIRS ANALYST: I mean, it's clearly how much sanctions, how much denuclearization? And it looked like it's not -- you know, enough for enough on neither side.
It seemed to me that North Korean side wanted to give up Yongbyon, but in return, they wanted entire sanctions, which was not acceptable to our side.
If you remember, they had promised to give up Yongbyon twice before.
AMANPOUR: Which is the plutonium processing reactor.
YUN: Yes. Once in a great framework, and once in the six-party talk.
WILL RIPLEY, CNN INTERNATIONAL CORRESPONDENT: I would just say for President Trump, this is a hard lesson in the limits of a good personal relationship with Kim Jong-un, and also a lesson in the complexities of the situation.
AMANPOUR: OK. So, you're watching CNN, and we're going to be back in a moment with more coverage of this breaking news stories, right after a break.