Lawmakers call Otto Warmbier's treatment "unforgivable" after Trump defends Kim

REUTERS  Kim Kyung-Hoon

It had been clear for a few days that the meeting in Hanoi between Kim Jong-un and President Trump was not likely to produce an epoch-making breakthrough.

"Sometimes you have to walk", Trump said at a solo press conference following the summit.

She noted Trump and Kim walked away with no common definition of what would constitute denuclearization - on which the two sides still lack a common definition - or a roadmap for future talks or a timeline by which they aim to strike a deal. Last month, Stephen Biegun, the U.S. state department special representative for North Korea, said Pyongyang had committed in pre-summit talks to destroy all the nation's plutonium- and uranium-enrichment facilities, dependent on unspecified USA measures in return.

The North's position wouldn't change even if the USA offers to resume another round of dialogue, he added.

Warmbier, a 21-year-old University of Virginia student from OH, was arrested and accused of committing a "hostile act" while on a study tour of North Korea in 2016.

Bergman said Trump could have articulated his words more clearly, but that he is correct: it is very unlikely that Kim was behind the grotesque conditions that led to Warmbier's death.

Trump and Kim emerged after their first formal bilateral meeting Thursday morning on the Metropole hotel's pool patio, where they were joined by U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and North Korean official Kim Yong Chol.

"He tells me he didn't know about it, and I will take him at his word".

"They wanted the sanctions lifted, in their entirety, and we couldn't do that", the president explained.

The accommodations Trump has made for Kim Jong Un are, if not worse than those he's made for other authoritarian leaders, definitely some of the most unprecedented.

On Friday, North Korea's official news agency put a more positive spin on the summit, saying Trump and Kim "had a constructive and candid exchange of their opinions over the practical issues arising in opening up a new era of the improvement" of relations between the two nations. "We want to make sure we have a good deal, not just a deal", she said. "But I don't believe he knew about it", Trump said. For his part, Kim, when asked whether he was ready to denuclearize, said "If I'm not willing to do that I won't be here right now".

"The challenge is North Korea's nuclear weapons are already a reality", he added. "He felt very badly", Mr Trump told reporters.

"Yet what this reality confirms is that no deal is better than a bad deal", it added.

Last time he and Kim met in Singapore, they were served a wide range of items: Prawn cocktails, Korean stuffed cucumber, beef short rib confit and soy-braised cod were just some of their options for a working lunch. He secured Trump's support for the opening of a liaison office in Pyongyang, without offering any concessions of his own.

Trump has claimed credit for freeing American prisoners overseas and had used Warmbier's death as a rallying cry against the North Korea's human rights abuses before softening his rhetoric ahead of talks with Kim. Even without an agreement, Trump's backing for the step toward normalization provided the sort of recognition the global community has long denied Kim's government.

Nuclear analysts estimate North Korea may have a nuclear arsenal of 20 to 60 weapons which, if mated with intercontinental ballistic missiles it has developed, could threaten the USA mainland. This wasn't a walk away, like you get up and walk out.

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