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North Korea Says Country Seeks Partial Relief

North Korea Pleads For Sanctions Relief North Korea has denied US President Donald Trump’s claim that the country demanded total sanctions relief during a failed summit in Hanoi. The...

North Korea Pleads For Sanctions Relief

North Korea has denied US President Donald Trump’s claim that the country demanded total sanctions relief during a failed summit in Hanoi. The North’s Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho was speaking after talks between US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ended without agreement.

He said they asked only for partial sanctions relief in exchange for disabling its main nuclear complex. The US insists this is not the case.

After their talks broke down, Trump said Kim had offered to dismantle all of the Yongbyon complex, the research and production facility at the heart of North Korea’s nuclear program, a significant proposal. But in return Kim wanted all sanctions lifted, something the US was not prepared to offer, Trump added.

At a late-night news conference after Thursday’s summit, Ri said his country had made “realistic” proposals, including the complete decommissioning of Yongbyon, under the watch of US observers. “This proposal was the biggest denuclearization measure we could take at the present stage when taking into consideration the current level of confidence between the DPRK [North Korea] and the United States.”

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

He told reporters 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.”

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