Donald Trump summoned the world's media to Hanoi for a meeting with Kim Jong Un, travelled the long way around the world to get there, and dangled an "AWESOME" future before the North Korean leader. And they did not agree anything. That may not be such a bad thing, analysts say.
Trump told reporters Kim wanted all sanctions imposed on the North over its weapons programmes lifted before it made any further moves over its Yongbyon nuclear plant and other covert sites, and he had decided to walk away. "I'd much rather do it right than do it fast," he added.
Analysts pointed to the meeting as part of a long process, and potentially a necessary one. "These talks were not a failure," said David Kim of the Stimson Center. "As long as both 'lovers' remain committed to their relationship, we can expect more positive outcomes in the future.”
Trump has previously said he and Kim "fell in love" over an exchange of letters, and while no third summit with Kim had been agreed, the White House said working-level talks would continue.
Former CIA analyst Soo Kim noted that Trump had insisted several times he was in no rush to complete a deal and that with the North not yet prepared to take the steps the US wanted, Trump "so far looks at ease with this decision". But, she told AFP: "This outcome is likely not what the Kim regime had banked on. So it remains to be seen whether after the rug has been pulled from underneath, North Korea will bite again at another opportunity.”
The no-result from Hanoi leaves South Korean President Moon Jae-in -- who seized on last year's Winter Olympics in his country to broker talks between Pyongyang and Washington -- in a bind.
Daniel Davis, Senior Fellow at Defense Priorities, said that as Kim had asked for "something really big", the price he would be asked to pay next time would be higher, and Trump was holding "all the cards" for next talks.
"These talks will take a long time and will far outlive this presidency," said David Kim.
“Patience is a virtue."