Kim Jong Un heads home after summit breakdown with Trump
2nd March 2019

Kim Jong Un has left Vietnam for his long journey home, following a failed summit with US president Donald Trump.

The North Korean leader boarded his private train at the Vietnam-China border for the 60-plus-hour ride on Saturday, watched by cheering crowds.

The summit between him and Mr Trump may have been a failure but Mr Kim appeared to be loving the attention as he got out of his armoured limousine and paused to wave at the crowd before boarding his train.

He spent his last day in Vietnam laying wreaths at a war memorial and at the mausoleum of communist revolutionary leader Ho Chi Minh.

A red and yellow wreath laid at the Monument To War Heroes And Martyrs contained a message: “I mourn the heroes and patriotic martyrs.”

Surrounded by his own entourage and Vietnamese soldiers, he watched the presentation of a wreath at the mausoleum before bowing and walking inside the building.

The appearances were intended to show him as a world statesman, an image that critics say Mr Trump has helped him gain by agreeing to the Vietnam summit and last year’s summit in Singapore.

On Friday he was happily welcomed by officials and escorted along a red carpet for his meeting with Vietnamese president Nguyen Phu Trong, who is head of the country’s communist party.

On Thursday, the summit between him and Mr Trump broke down, with no progress made on issues such as sanctions relief and nuclear disarmament.

On their first day together in the Vietnamese capital, Mr Trump had told his North Korean counterpart that he wanted to help his country fulfil its “tremendous economic potential”, hoping this would win over Mr Kim.

And on the second day of talks, Mr Kim had told a press conference that he was prepared to get rid of his country’s nuclear weapons.

But he had demanded the lifting of sanctions imposed by the US over the nuclear programme seen by many North Koreans as necessary for their own defence.

Mr Trump had returned to the US soon after the end of the two-day summit.

Senior officials in the US said North Korea had demanded too much without offering enough in return.

The communist country had wanted billions of dollars in sanctions relief in return for only the partial disarmament of Yongbyon, they said, adding that greater disarmament should be offered in return for such a benefit.

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