North Korea on Friday promised further negotiations with the US despite a spectacular failure to strike a nuclear deal at their Hanoi summit, with both sides keeping the door of diplomacy open.
The high-stakes second meeting between the North’s leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump broke up in disarray Thursday, without even a joint statement.
In the aftermath, each sought to blame the other’s intransigence for the deadlock.
Trump insisted Pyongyang wanted all sanctions imposed on it over its banned weapons programmes lifted, and this was a bridge too far.
But in a rare late-night press briefing, the North Korean foreign minister said Pyongyang had only wanted some of the measures eased, and that its proposal to close “all the nuclear production facilities” at its Yongbyon complex was its best and final offer.
Despite the stalemate, the North’s official KCNA news agency reported Friday that the two leaders had had a “constructive and candid exchange.”
Relations between the two countries — on opposite sides of the technically still-unfinished Korean War — had been “characterised by mistrust and antagonism” for decades, it said.
Despite “inevitable hardships and difficulties” on the way to forging a new relationship, KNCA described the Hanoi summit as “successful” and said Kim had promised Trump another encounter.
An unusually downcast Trump told reporters on Thursday that he would “rather do it right than do it fast,” adding: “Sometimes you have to walk and this was just one of those times.”
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