President Trump meets with Kim Jong Un
President Trump and North Korean leader Kim’s latest summit ended in no agreement, dashing hopes they would sign a peace treaty officially ending the Korean War, which finished in stalemate and armistice in 1953. But there will be renewed attention on an effort by US lawmakers to force the matter.
This week, Representative Ro Khanna, along with eighteen Democratic Members of Congress, introduced a resolution calling for a final settlement of the Korean War, now officially in its 68th year.
Christine Ahn, a peace activist and founder of Women Cross DMZ, said Thursday the move was "so important, now more than ever."
"We cannot allow peace (between) two countries at war for 70 years to be scrapped by two men," she said.
In a statement, the Korea Peace Network, which has supported Khanna's resolution, said "failure to reach an agreement should not be taken as a sign that diplomacy is not working."
"Diplomacy has done far more to advance the security of the US and the Korean Peninsula than economic coercion and threats of military force. Diplomacy takes time and obviously much more work remains to be done," said the group's president, Kevin Martin.
"Members of Congress can help guide the process in a more productive direction moving forward by supporting Rep. Ro Khanna’s new legislation calling for the signing of a peace agreement and other important steps to advance the goals of peace and a denuclearized Korean Peninsula."
Joseph Yun, a former US top diplomat on North Korea, said the abrupt ending to the summit speaks to a "lack of preparation."
"You know, I've been to many summits. Usually they involve so much working level work and in fact 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 will lay 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," he said.
Yun said he thinks the "drama in Washington" might have played a 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? You have to think he is -- he is also thinking about stepping back a bit.
See his remarks:
President Trump said he has not committed to a third summit between himself and North Korea's Kim Jong Un, while holding a press conference in Hanoi.
"We'll see if it happens, it happens," Trump said adding he has not committed to another.
Trump, speaking to reporters, said he secured a continued commitment from Kim during a Wednesday dinner to cease missile and nuclear testing.
"He’s not going to do testing of rockets and nuclear," Trump said. "I trust him and I take him at his word. I hope that’s true."
Despite that vow, Trump left Hanoi without a joint agreement with the North Korean dictator.
President Trump said he regretted what happened to US citizen Otto Warmbier, who was detained in North Korea for 17 months before being returned to the US in 2017, where he died days later.
Warmbier's parents have accused the North Korean government of torturing their son and causing his death.
Trump said he discussed the issue with Kim Jong Un, and said "I don't believe he would allow that to happen."
"Those prisons are rough, rough places, and bad things happen," he added. "I don't believe he knew about it, he felt badly about it, he felt very badly."
He added that while Kim "knew the case very well," he knew about it "later."
"Some really bad things happened to Otto," Trump said.
"(Kim) tells me he didn't know about it and I will take him at his word."
Watch the exchange below:
President Trump referred to his relationship with North Korea's Kim Jong Un as "very warm" and insisted that the meeting didn't end contentiously but with "a very friendly walk."
"This wasn't a walk away like you get up and walk out," Trump told reporters of the end of the summit.
"The relationship was very warm and when we walked away it was a very friendly walk," Trump said.
Trump also took digs at former presidents for not taking action on North Korea saying, "this should have been solved during many presidential runs -- and people talked about it. They never did anything."
Responding to a question about whether South Korean President Moon Jae-in had hit a "glass ceiling" when it came to pursuing peace on the Korean Peninsula, President Trump said he would speak to the South Korean leader Thursday.
"We'll be calling President Moon very soon, as soon as I get on the plane," Trump said. "He's been working very hard, he'd love to see a deal."
He added that he would also be speaking to Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
President Trump slammed Democrats for scheduling the Michael Cohen hearing during his summit with North Korea as a "terrible thing."
"I think having a fake hearing like that and having it in the middle of this very important summit was really a terrible thing," Trump said. "Having it during this very important summit is sort of incredible."
President Trump said he watched some of former fixer Michael Cohen’s testimony Wednesday on Capitol Hill and called it “pretty shameful.”
Trump said while Cohen "lied a lot," he was "impressed" by one thing: "He said no collusion with the Russian hoax."
"I said, 'I wonder why he didn't lie about that too like he lied about everything else,'" he said.
Trump continued: "He said no collusion and I was you know a little impressed by that frankly. He could have gone all out. He only went about 95% instead of 100 %."
Watch below: Trump says he was impressed by this in Cohen hearing
After he acknowledged that the summit in Hanoi ended with no deal due to sanctions, President Trump said he wanted to see the economic restrictions lifted on North Korean in future.
"I want to take off the sanctions so badly, because that country has got so much potential to grow," Trump said.
He has repeatedly highlighted North Korea's economic potential during the summit in Hanoi and meetings with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un. The country is currently subject to tough international sanctions, severely limiting its growth and exports.