North Korea on Friday promised further negotiations with the United States despite both countries failing to reach a deal at the Hanoi summit in Vietnam the previous day, AFP reported.
Talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Vietnam abruptly ended following a disagreement over sanctions imposed on Pyongyang. The two leaders did not issue a joint statement either.
Despite the stalemate, North Korea’s official KCNA news agency reported that the two leaders had a “constructive and candid exchange”, according to AFP. The agency said that despite “inevitable hardships and difficulties” in forging a new relationship, the Hanoi summit was “successful” and said Kim had promised Trump another meeting.
Trump, during a press meet, said he would “rather do it right than do it fast”. “Sometimes you have to walk and this was just one of those times,” the US president had said.
Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday reiterated he will work with the United States and North Korea to ensure both countries reach an agreement on denuclearisation, Reuters reported.
“My administration will closely communicate and cooperate with the United States and North Korea so as to help their talks reach a complete settlement by any means,” Moon said in a speech in Seoul.
At their first summit on June 12 in Singapore, Kim had committed to the “complete denuclearisation” of the Korean Peninsula.
Moon said South Korea would consult the US on ways to resume joint projects with North Korea, which includes tourism development at Mount Kumgang and the Kaesong industrial complex, both in the North. Moon, who has been an active supporter of efforts to denuclearise the Korean peninsula, met Kim three times last year.
‘Sought only partial lifting of sanctions’
Earlier in the day, North Korea claimed it had sought only a partial lifting of sanctions “related to people’s livelihoods and unrelated to military sanctions”. At a midnight press briefing on Friday, Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said North Korea had offered a realistic proposal, which involved dismantling all of its main nuclear site at Yongbyon, including plutonium and uranium facilities.
Ri’s statement contradicted Trump’s remarks, who claimed talks had broke down after North Korea demanded that sanctions be fully lifted. “It was about the sanctions basically,” Trump had said in Hanoi. “They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that.”
Based on the current level of trust between the US and North Korea, “this is the biggest denuclearisation step we can take”, Ri said. The minister said North Korea had only asked for the removal of five of the 11 sets of sanctions, CNN reported.