N Korea: We wont move on talks with Trump

Journalists work next to a large screen displaying news reporting on the second US-North Korea Summit, at the international media centre, in Hanoi, Vietnam, 28 February 2019Image copyright
EPA

Image caption

Journalists had expected a joint agreement to be signed in Hanoi, but the talks broke down

North Korea’s foreign minister says Pyongyang’s position will not change even if the US seeks further talks.

Ri Yong Ho was speaking after a summit in Vietnam between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without agreement.

Mr Trump said the US had refused demands for all sanctions to be lifted.

But at a late-night news conference, Mr Ri insisted the North had only asked for partial sanctions relief, not a complete lifting.

He said his country had made “realistic” proposals including the complete decommissioning of the Yongbyon nuclear research centre, under the watch of US observers.

In return, he said, the North had wanted only partial lifting of sanctions “that hamper the civilian economy and the livelihood of our people”.

Image copyright
Reuters

Image caption

Ri Yong Ho said an opportunity had been missed

Mr Ri said Pyongyang had also offered to permanently halt nuclear and long-range rocket testing. He added that it might be hard to see an opportunity such as the Hanoi summit again.

“Our principal stand will remain invariable and our proposals will never change, even if the United States proposes negotiations again in the future,” he told reporters.

What did Mr Trump say?

The two leaders had been expected to announce progress on denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and to sign a joint agreement.

But at a news conference after the summit broke up, Mr Trump said: “It was all about the sanctions. They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn’t do that.”

“Sometimes you have to walk and this was one of those times,” he added.

On the flight back to Washington, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he was very hopeful that officials from both sides could resume talks before too long.

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Media captionBBC’s Laura Bicker explains why Trump is the ‘biggest loser’ from the summit

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