Thursday, February 28, 2019

What North Korea Offered and what Trump Spurned

North Korea offered a “realistic proposal” to halt nuclear and missile tests in exchange for partial sanctions relief, Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho told reporters in Hanoi after the failed Trump-Kim summit.

North Korea demanded the partial lifting of sanctions that “that hamper the civilian economy and the livelihood of our people,” specifically parts of five UN resolutions from 2016 and 2017. 

There are 11 resolutions in total imposing sanctions on North Korea.

In exchange for partial lifting of sanctions by the US, North Korea would permanently remove plutonium and uranium processing facilities and Yongbyon, in the presence of US experts, Ri said, adding that the "US was not ready to accept our proposal."

The North Korean official said Washington demanded “one more” measure beyond dismantling Yongbyon, which went too far for Pyongyang.

“Our proposal will never change although US proposes negotiations again in the future,” said Ri, who then left without taking questions from the press.

"It was about the sanctions basically," US President Donald Trump told reporters after parting ways with Kim Jong-un. "They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety and we couldn't do that. Sometimes you have to walk, and this was just one of those times."

The US president’s statement suggests it was he, not Kim, who walked out of the talks. It remains unclear why Trump was referring to sanctions in their entirety and Ri spoke of partial relief.


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