White House says Trump-Kim summit will be cut short

The White House said Thursday that the « program is changing » for the ongoing nuclear summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

The press pool covering the event was told that the meeting would end within 30 minutes — significantly earlier than had originally been scheduled for the summit in Hanoi, Vietnam. Trump will leave the summit site at that time, the White House said.

The statuses of two previously planned events — a working lunch that had been for the two sides and a joint signing ceremony for some manner of agreement — were not immediately clear.

White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders did not tell reporters why the schedule had changed and she declined to say whether there would be a signing ceremony.

A solo press conference for Trump that was originally scheduled for 3:50 p.m. local time (3:50 a.m. ET) had been moved to 2 p.m., according to NBC News.

Trump had repeatedly said at the start of Thursday’s talks that his relationship with Kim was strong, and that he expected that connection to eventually carry the two nuclear powers to an agreement.

Although both sides say they’ve been making progress in recent months, this round of top-level talks talks is focusing on many of the same issues as last June’s Singapore summit.

Trump is pushing North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons as he dangles the prospect of an economic boost to the repressive country. Kim wants to see sanctions eased without losing the strategic benefits of his weapons of mass destruction.

—Reuters contributed to this report.

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