North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho disputed President Donald Trump’s claim that Kim Jong Un demanded a complete removal of all economic sanctions, insisting that his nation had “offered a realistic proposal” to the U.S. to begin the process of denuclearization.
During a rare news conference for North Korean officials, Ri said following the Trump-Kim summit that North Korea had asked for only a partial removal of sanctions in exchange for closing several nuclear facilities.
“We conducted a serious meeting” and “offered a realistic proposal” to the U.S., Ri told reporters at the Melia Hotel in Hanoi early Friday, speaking through an interpreter.
In his own news conference right after the meeting ended, Trump said Kim “wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that.” In exchange, the North Korean leader had offered to dismantle its main nuclear facility at Yongbyon.
Trump is now traveling back to the U.S.
The summit’s collapse sent global stocks sliding as the future of U.S.-North Korea nuclear talks remained uncertain. While Trump said the meeting ended amicably with a handshake, he hasn’t committed to another summit with Kim.