North Korea Disputes Trump: We Didn’t Demand End to All Sanctions

North Korean officials contradicted President Trump in a rare press conference Thursday, stating that they did not, as Trump claimed, demand the removal of all sanctions. Hours after the Vietnam summit between Trump and Kim Jong Un crumbled, Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho stated that North Korea had offered to “permanently and completely” dismantle uranium and plutonium production at the Yongbyon complex in exchange for the U.S. lifting five 2016-2017 sanctions that are “hampering our civilian economy and livelihood.” He added that “This was the biggest denuclearization measure we could take at the current time with the current confidence level” between North Korea and the U.S. After the failed summit, he added, Kim may have “lost the will” for further negotiations. “Chairman Kim got the feeling that he didn’t understand the way Americans calculate,” he said, adding that “it became crystal clear the United States wasn’t ready to accept our proposal.” Yong-ho also put the ball in Trump’s court, stating that “the offer will remain invariable.”