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A year since Singapore, has Trump made progress?

Credit: Reuters - Politics
Published on June 12, 2019 - Duration: 03:12s

A year since Singapore, has Trump made progress?

It's been one year since the Singapore summit, but Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un still can't seem to cross a certain threshold when it comes to North Korea's nuclear weapons.

The two sides now appear as far apart as they were going in.

Grace Lee reports.

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A year since Singapore, has Trump made progress?

It's been one year since the Singapore summit.

There was the handshake, the pageantry, and - of course - a historic agreement.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "We're very proud of what took place today." But how much progress has the U.S. really made with North Korea since then?

Pyongyang still has its nuclear weapons, a second summit fell apart spectacularly and state media is even threatening the U.S. to back off.

So, are we back to square one?

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS REPORTER GRACE LEE SAYING: "There's a threshold that Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un can't seem to cross.

We saw hints of it in Singapore.

On the ground - there was a lot of excitement when the two first met - but that quickly fizzled out when everyone realized how lacking it all was of actual substance.

Trump still seemed happy then.

But after that we went to Hanoi - where - a little before lunchtime on their second day things started to unravel.

Trump wanted Kim to give up all his weapons, and Kim wanted Trump to ease off on sanctions - the threshold.

This time, Trump was left trying to explain what exactly happened." To be fair, it's been a while since we've heard threats like these: (SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "Rocket man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime." Trump for the most part has insisted that he still has a good relationship with Kim Jong Un, and even sided with the dictator recently over reports Kim had executed a North Korean official.

But whether they'll reach that deal Trump seems to want so eagerly is a different story.

Especially with the North's most recent missile tests.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) REUTERS SEOUL CORRESPONDENT JOSH SMITH SAYING: "They were some smaller ones, shorter range, not the kind that can threaten the US but they were something of a wakeup call for South Korean and American officials.

And definitely signaled to a lot of us that things could be on a track back to tensions we saw in 2017 - some of the tensions people had hoped had gone away when Trump and Kim met that first time." Analysts say the North's latest missiles could be used early and effectively in any war with South Korea or the United States.

Just last month, the regime even tested a new weapon: a smaller missile that could be easier to hide and maneuver.

The tests have been ramping up since the failed Hanoi summit, but Trump's message has been the same: he trusts Kim Jong Un.

(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP SAYING: "I view it as a man, perhaps he wants to get attention and perhaps not.

Who knows?

It doesn't matter." Kim Jong Un - on the other hand - has been less forgiving.

He's given Washington a deadline: it has until the end of the year to become more 'flexible'.

If the standoff between the two sides continue, it might not be long before fire and fury is back on the table.

And North Korea warns the agreement Trump and Kim made in Singapore will be nothing more than a 'blank sheet of paper.'

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