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North Korea Contradicts Trump on Demands

Foreign minister says they didn't demand that all sanctions be lifted
By Newser Editors,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 28, 2019 1:31 PM CST
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un listens as he meets with President Trump Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019, in Hanoi.   (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

(Newser) – When President Trump explained to reporters why his summit with Kim Jong Un ended prematurely, he cited one big reason: North Korea wanted the US to lift all sanctions in exchange for the dismantling of its main nuclear facility. Not so, says North Korea's foreign minister. The North asked for only a partial lifting of sanctions, Ri Yong Ho said at a hastily arranged news conference, reports the BBC. "We offered a realistic proposal in this meeting," he said. Specifically, the North agreed to decommission its nuclear facility at Yongbyon under the supervision of US experts, reports the Washington Post.

In exchange, the North wanted the US to end only those sanctions that affected civilians, though he did not provide details of exactly what that means. “Given the current level of trust between North Korea and the United States, this was the maximum step for denuclearization we can offer,” Ri told reporters, per the New York Times. However, the AP reports that Ri also said the North had been prepared to offer a written pledge to halt nuclear and intercontinental ballistic missile tests and that Washington wasted an opportunity that "may not come again." (Read more North Korea stories.)

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