North Korea offered realistic proposal at Trump-Kim summit but US wanted more, says foreign minister

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un sits alongside Kim Yong Chol, Vice-Chairman of the North Korean Workers' Party Committee, and North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho at the extended bilateral meeting with US President Donald Trump (not pictured). PHOTO: REUTERS

HANOI (REUTERS) - North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said North Korea made realistic proposals at a summit with the United States, including dismantling its Yongbyon nuclear complex in return for a partial lifting of sanctions.

The United States demanded one more measure beyond dismantling Yongbyon, Ri said at a news conference on Thursday (Feb 28).

He said if the United States partially removed sanctions, North Korea could permanently dismantle all nuclear material production, including plutonium and uranium under US observation.

Ri told reporters that Pyongyang was seeking partial sanctions relief, not a complete lifting of sanctions.

US President Donald Trump said he walked away from the summit because of unacceptable demands from North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to lift US-led sanctions.

Ri said if the two sides went through several levels of trust-building steps, Pyongyang would be willing to move forward with denuclearisation.

In addition to offering to dismantle Yongbyon, North Korea offered to permanently halt nuclear tests, Ri told the news conference.

Trump said two days of talks in the Vietnamese capital had made good progress in building relations and on the main issue of denuclearisation, but it was important not to rush into a bad deal.

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