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Donald Trump has walked out of the summit with North Korea's Kim Jong-un

Staff writers and Reuters, February 27, 2019 6:45PM news.com.au

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North Korean leader Kim Jong-un travelled around Hanoi by car after arriving from North Korea by train. Picture: Getty Images media_cameraNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-un travelled around Hanoi by car after arriving from North Korea by train. Picture: Getty Images

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The historic second summit* between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was cut short overnight with the leaders failing to agree to a deal on nuclear* weapons.

Mr Trump said he “had to walk” from the meeting in the Vietnam capital of Hanoi after the pair disagreed on how to denuclearise* the Korean peninsula and what economic* rewards the US should give North Korea in return. 

“Sometimes you have to walk, and this was just one of those times,” said Mr Trump.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump met in Singapore in June 2018. Picture: AP media_cameraNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-un and US President Donald Trump met in Singapore in June 2018. Picture: AP

The US claimed it had rejected a request to drop all trade sanctions* in return­ for North Korea only getting rid of some of its ­nuclear weapons.

“They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that,” Mr Trump said.

“They were willing to denuke* a large portion of the areas we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that.”

North Korea’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho, however, denied the North had demanded all economic sanctions be lifted.

In an unusual midnight press conference, Mr Ri said Kim  had made a “realistic proposal” and only wanted some United Nations sanctions targeting citizens from 2016 and 2017 to be lifted. The trade bans were set after North Korea tested several nuclear missiles in 2017. 

United Nations observers have reported that in recent months North Korea has worked on hiding, dispersing* and protecting its weapons.

It is not known how the two countries will now break the standoff*, with the White House saying there would be further talks but Mr Ri warning  “our proposal will never be changed”.

As the two leaders departed the Metropole hotel, Mr Trump tried to strike an optimistic note about future talks, saying: “This was very friendly. We shook hands … 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.”

US President Donald Trump has waved goodbye to Vietnam after walking out of the summit. Picture: AFP media_cameraUS President Donald Trump has waved goodbye to Vietnam after walking out of the summit. Picture: AFP

WHAT THE US WANTED FROM THE SUMMIT

  • Denuclearisation of North Korea was the main goal for the US.
    That means removal of all weapons-of-mass-destruction programs in North Korea. This includes the production of those weapons, as well as the missiles that can deliver them to a target. The US wanted to form a shared understanding with North Korea of what denuclearisation means.
  • To establish a plan with a timeline and goals for denuclearisation beyond this week’s summit.
    North Korea appears to have produced enough bomb fuel in the past year to add as many as seven nuclear weapons to its supplies, a report by Stanford University’s Centre for International Security and Co-operation said earlier this month.

WHAT NORTH KOREA WANTED FROM THE SUMMIT

  • An end to economic sanctions.
    The US and the UN refuse to do business with North Korea. Australia, as a member of the UN, also doesn’t do business with North Korea. These are called economic sanctions. 
  • North Korea was also expected to ask that the US remove soldiers it has stationed in neighbouring South Korea but Mr Trump said this would not be up for discussion.
  • A peace deal that would officially end the 1950-1953 Korean War.
    The US has not been enthusiastic about signing a peace deal before North Korea denuclearises, but US officials have signalled they may be willing to sign a more limited agreement to reduce tensions* and move towards normalising relations.

GLOSSARY

  • summit: meeting
  • nuclear: relating to the nucleus of an atom
  • denuclearise: get rid of nuclear weapons and the equipment to make them
  • economic: relating to money or a country’s economy 
  • sanctions: bans
  • denuke: short for denuclearise
  • dispersing: spreading out
  • standoff: when two sides can’t agree or win
  • tensions: stresses or strains

EXTRA READING

Trump and Kim sign historic agreement

North Korea promise makes history

Kim Jong-un’s World Cup bid

QUICK QUIZ

  1. Which two people are meeting?
  2. In which city of which country was the meeting happening?
  3. What have UN observers reported has happened in North Korea in recent months?
  4. What are economic sanctions?
  5. When was the Korean War? 

LISTEN TO THIS STORY

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES
1. What’s Important?
Read the list of what the US wants and what North Korea wants.
What do you think are the most important items in the lists? Write down the top five. Next to each item, write sentences explaining why you chose it.

Time: allow 25 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Civics and Citizenship

2. Extension
Write a letter to Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. In your letter, explain to the two leaders what you think they should achieve at the summit and why this is important.

Time: allow 25 minutes to complete this activity
Curriculum Links: English, Civics and Citizenship


VCOP ACTIVITY

After reading the article, with a partner, highlight all the openers you can find in blue. Discuss if they are powerful and varied openers or not. Why do you think the journalist has used a mix of simple and power openers? Would you change any, and why?


HAVE YOUR SAY: Do you think North Korea will give up all its nuclear weapons? Do you think countries such as the US and Australia should begin to do business with North Korea? 
No one-word answers. Use full sentences to explain your thinking.

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