Trump Kim talks: What to make of the Hanoi summit collapse?

The second summit between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has ended without any deal or agreement.

Washington insists though that dialogue with Pyongyang will continue and the collapse of the Hanoi summit is not a major disappointment.

Here’s a roundup of North Korea experts looking at the summit and what to make of its sudden end.

A predictable ‘no deal’

Ankit Panda, senior editor, The Diplomat

The “no deal” outcome could have been seen coming a mile away. Indeed, a serious reading of public North Korean statements since last year’s Singapore summit would have revealed the core issue that resulted in a lack of agreement.

The day after the Singapore summit, North Korean state media paraphrased Kim Jong-un as noting Pyongyang would take “additional good-will measures” if the US took “genuine measures.” By that date, North Korea had dismantled its nuclear testing site at Punggye-ri and announced a moratorium on nuclear tests and intercontinental-range ballistic missile tests.

Weeks later, North Korea would also partially and reversibly dismantle a missile-engine test stand.

When Mr Kim met South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a third summit in Pyongyang last September, they referenced North Korea’s nuclear facilities at Yongbyon as an example of something the North would put on the table in exchange for “corresponding measures” from the US.

Finally, on 1 January this year, Kim Jong-un made the same point in his New Year’s address: corresponding measures would lead to progress in the US-North Korea diplomatic relationship. This phrase was misinterpreted to mean any range of US concessions, including a possibly a declaration to end the Korean War, when it really meant sanctions relief.

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