Officials say Trump overstated Kim's demand on sanctions


North Korea has rejected the main reason U.S. President Donald Trump gave for cutting short his summit with Kim Jong Un, with Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho saying Friday at a rare press conference that Pyongyang did not ask Washington to lift sanctions entirely but only partially.

Reporters in Vietnam for the duo's second nuclear disarmament summit were positioned on one side of the room, some tweeting pictures of the lunch table as they waited.

That announcement, it turned out, was an understatement.

Trump spoke to the leaders of South Korea and Japan on his way back from Hanoi and told them the United States would work with them and talk to North Korea, the White House said.

The state KCNA news agency said Kim and Trump had a constructive and honest exchange and chose to continue productive talks, without mentioning that the talks ended abruptly with no agreement. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analysis from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

Trump also said he hoped to see Kim again soon but offered no details.

In response to the result of the second Kim-Trump summit, Kremlin spokesperson Dmitry Peskov said Thursday, "From official statements, statements by President Trump himself and other high-ranking representatives of the White House, we understand that the negotiation process has not been interrupted, which is certainly positive".

"He is the head of a country, and I mean he is the strong head", Trump told Fox News after the 2018 meeting.

On a call with reporters Thursday morning, Sue Mi Terry, a former CIA Korean analyst, said she was "surprised" to wake up to the news of no deal.

At a press conference in Hanoi, Trump said talks broke down because Kim said he would only close the Yongbyon nuclear facility - North Korea's most important research and production site - if the US lifted all sanctions on North Korea. But we have fully aired that matter with the North Koreans.

Trump flew around the world for the meeting and Kim undertook a mammoth two-and-a-half-day trek through China in his olive green train, travelling 4,000 kilometres (2,500 miles).

"Without Otto Warmbier, this summit wouldn't have happened", said Trump.

There is also a facility to produce highly enriched uranium (HEU) used to make atomic bombs, experts say, and an experimental light water reactor has been under construction.

"The dilemma that we were confronted with is the North Koreans at this point are unwilling to impose a complete freeze on their weapons of mass destruction programmes", said the official, who declined to be identified. "Our teams have gotten to know each other better". "I don't want to rush anybody".

UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres praised the U.S. -DPRK summit as "courageous diplomacy" on Thursday even though no agreement was reached, and expressed hope that talks will continue.

Donald Trump chose to "walk away" from the negotiation table in the Vietnamese capital, leaving North Korea without sanctions relief and the USA without Pyongyang's commitment towards denuclearisation that the United States president sought.

As an Indonesian, who prefers to see the bright side of everything, I must say, "Thank God for the fruitless Hanoi summit".

But as Trump presses for Korean denuclearization, betting heavily on his relationship with Kim, the hard line he signaled that night in Congress has largely evaporated, prompting angry reactions across the political spectrum. "But how long will that last?"

Frequent Trump critic Adam Schiff of California called the president's comments "detestable", the congressman said, adding that it "hearkens back to Trump's duplicitous acceptances of denials from other dictators".

"The President in his discussions challenged the North Koreans to go bigger".

Trump said that the issue of dismantling the North's Yongbyon facilities, arguably the most crucial element in its nuclear development, was discussed in the summit, their first in eight months, but it was "not enough". They eventually settled on a three-course meal that would not have been out of place at one of Trump's establishments.