ABC News’ Jake Tapper and Yunji de Nies report:
President Obama has spent a week in Asia, with high level meetings across four countries. But critics argue all that time and jet fuel has not been well-spent. The President leaves South Korea today with arguably little show for it.
After Obama's joint press conference with President Lee Myung-Bak, White House senior advisor David Axelrod defended the visit to reporters in the hall of the Blue House.
"This not an immediate gratification business. I understand that Washington's in the immediate gratification business," Axelrod said, "We made solid progress on climate change that's been reported. We've helped him clarify understanding on security issues and obviously on economics. But nobody came expecting that all of these things would be resolved on this trip, this is part of laying the foundation."
But the list of disappointments is long:
- official news from the Danish Prime Minister that the upcoming climate change summit in Copenhagen will not yield a binding international agreement.
- Chinese President Hu Jin Tao made no commitments on balancing the yuan, and his government refused to broadcast live Obama's town hall on state television.
- Despite a personal appeal from President Obama, President Hu also continued to oppose economic sanctions on Iran.
- A key meeting in Singapore with Russian President Dmitri Medvedev yielded official confirmation that US/Russian disarmament negotiators will not reach a new agreement before the START treaty expires on December 5th.
Axelrod urged reporters to take the long view, "The ultimate measure is how these issues resolve in the weeks and months and years to come. We have a greater chance for success because of this trip and others he's made."
–Jake Tapper and Yunji de Nies