Call it The Art of the Deal.
President Donald Trump's summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un collapsed when North Korea demanded that the US-led sanctions be lifted.
"Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, but we couldn't do that ... we had to walk away from it," Trump said.
LATEST: No agreement reached as U.S.-North Korea summit wraps up in Vietnam. "Basically, they wanted the sanctions… https://t.co/ypEiIBB9tO— ABC News (@ABC News)1551343950.0
International sanctions have crippled the North Korean economy for years, and Kim, as expected, demanded that sanctions be lifted in exchange for dismantling the hermit kingdom's nuclear program. Trump cut the talks short once it became clear Kim would not commit to total denuclearization, a goal the two of them agreed upon during their Singapore summit in 2018.
It was a harsh blow for a president who'd earlier assured his reporters that talks were going swimmingly.
Great meetings and dinner tonight in Vietnam with Kim Jong Un of North Korea. Very good dialogue. Resuming tomorrow!— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1551281816.0
Great meeting and dinner with Kim Jong Un in Hanoi, Vietnam tonight. Looking forward to continuing our discussions… https://t.co/T2ocOyyYtI— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1551281904.0
The summit's failure opened up Trump, who ascended to the presidency partly by stoking an image of himself as "the great dealmaker," to Art of the Deal jokes, a reference to his bestselling book ghostwritten by author––and now ardent Trump critic––Tony Schwartz.
"Sometimes you have to walk away" Trump says again and again. Apparently that's the Art of the Deal. You walk into… https://t.co/DU911HcvT8— Wajahat Ali (@Wajahat Ali)1551338639.0
So the Art of the Deal is first you go overseas and legitimize a dictator by meeting with him and don’t get a deal… https://t.co/FK7AnMGGSG— Rex Huppke (@Rex Huppke)1551336949.0
By the time Trump is done he will give North Korea seven states and 50 billion in exchange for a plastic “Nobel Pri… https://t.co/QiFu3EqR2t— Tony Posnanski (@Tony Posnanski)1551312067.0
The Art of the Deal (abridged version): Have dinner with dictator Announce that you are friends Tell the world you… https://t.co/e73heYrUti— Joanne Harris (@Joanne Harris)1551343171.0
Trump: Get rid of your nukes. North Korea: No. Trump: Ok. ART OF THE DEAL!— Kaili Joy Gray (@Kaili Joy Gray)1551311610.0
Is there a chapter in Trump's Art of the Deal about flying half way around the world to get nothing?! Asking for a… https://t.co/xEqNs5XfLv— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@(((DeanObeidallah))))1551357704.0
In the week before the summit, which took place in Hanoi, Vietnam, diplomats on both sides expressed a desire to discuss a possible denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. The Korean community in Vietnam is 60,000 strong and has expressed hope that the summit could mark an important step to Korean reunification.
We can't pass the divided Korean peninsula [on] to our next generation. We fully welcome the summit which may resolve the 70 years of our division," Yoon Sang-ho, chairman of the Korean Association in Hanoi, told reporters last week. "Koreans in Hanoi wish the next generations of ours to live in a conflict-free Korean peninsula. I strongly wish this summit would bring pragmatic peace to the region."
Peace will have to wait, but hey, at least Trump has a fan in Kim's best friend, Dennis Rodman:
🌎✌🏿❤️ https://t.co/4bEhd02rRz— Dennis Rodman (@Dennis Rodman)1551314694.0
This would be funny if it weren't so sad.