|The press conference called by North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho in Hà Nội following the February 27-28 summit that failed to reach a result. — VNA/VNS Photo Lâm Khánh|
HÀ NỘI — North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho called an impromptu press conference at midnight in Hà Nội following the disappointing end to the highly anticipated summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump.
Ri said during the two-day summit, the two countries’ leaders had held serious discussions.
The North Korean foreign minister said the DPRK had offered “realistic proposals” but the US wanted more, and the two sides couldn’t reconcile their differences leading to what the US President called a “walk away” earlier in his press conference in Hà Nội.
According to Ri, North Korea had attempted to get the US to lift five sanction articles adopted in 2016 and 2017 under 11 United Nations Security Council resolutions, which he said “hampered the civilian economy and the livelihoods of our people” in exchange for DPRK’s “completely and permanent dismantling all nuclear material production facilities in the Yongbyon area, including plutonium and uranium” under the supervision of experts from both countries.
He emphasised that the North Koreans did not seek a complete removal of all sanctions, but only partial relief, which differs significantly with US President Donald Trump's earlier claim to the contrary.
The diplomat said it was the biggest measure it could take at present given “the current level of confidence between the DPRK and the US.”
During the meeting, the North Koreans pledged a complete halt of nuclear and missile testing, including rocket launches, to ease the concerns of the US, according to Ri.
Ri said that if the two sides could go through this “level of trust-building regime”, then “we would be able to accelerate the process of denuclearisation”.
However, he said the US side was insistent on North Korea moving “one more step” besides the shutting down of the Yongbyon plant, the country’s main nuclear facility.
“It became crystal clear that the US was not ready to go through with this proposal,” the North Korean top diplomat said.
The North Korean official said it would be difficult to come up with a better proposal than the one his country was putting on the table.
“Our principle stands and remains invariable and our proposal will never change in the future even if the US wants further talks,” he said.
The North Korean foreign minister did not take questions from the press afterwards. — VNS
|North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho (right) at a midnight press conference held at the Melia Hotel in Hà Nội, where the North Korean delegation is staying. — VNA/VNS Photo Lâm Khánh|