North Korea, US offer more talks | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, March 02, 2019 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:06 AM, March 02, 2019

North Korea, US offer more talks

China calls on UN to discuss Pyongyang's sanctions relief

The United States and North Korea yesterday promised further negotiations despite a spectacular failure to strike a nuclear deal at their Hanoi summit.

The high-stakes second meeting between the North's leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump broke up in disarray Thursday, without even a joint statement.

In the aftermath, each sought to blame the other's intransigence for the deadlock.

Trump insisted Pyongyang wanted all sanctions imposed on it over its banned weapons programmes lifted, and this was a bridge too far.

But in a rare late-night press briefing, the North Korean foreign minister said Pyongyang had only wanted some of the measures eased, and that its proposal to close "all the nuclear production facilities" at its Yongbyon complex was its best and final offer.

Despite the stalemate, the North's official KCNA news agency reported yesterday that the two leaders had had a "constructive and candid exchange."

Relations between the two countries -- on opposite sides of the technically still-unfinished Korean War -- had been "characterised by mistrust and antagonism" for decades, it said.

Despite "inevitable hardships and difficulties" on the way to forging a new relationship, KNCA described the Hanoi summit as "successful" and said Kim had promised Trump another encounter.

Trump yesterday said his talks with Kim had been "substantive," adding, "We know what they want and they know what we must have."

Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said yesterday South Korea will cooperate with the US and North Korea to help their stalled talks reach a complete settlement, reported Reuters.

"I believe this is part of a process to reach a higher level of agreement. Now our role has become even more important," Moon said in a speech while commemorating a national holiday.

"My administration will closely communicate and cooperate with the United States and North Korea so as to help their talks reach a complete settlement by any means," he said.

China called for North Korean sanctions relief to be discussed at the UN Security Council after US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un ended a summit without a deal.

Beijing is the North's main trade partner and sole major ally, but it has backed a raft of UN sanctions following Pyongyang's repeated nuclear and missile tests in recent years, reported AFP.

Both North Korea and the US note that lifting sanctions is an important part of the denuclearisation process, said Chinese foreign ministry spokesman Lu Kang.

"They should be considered simultaneously and resolved together, I think this is a common denominator that should be seized," Lu said at a regular press briefing.

Noting "the positive developments on the peninsula, especially the steps taken by North Korea on denuclearisation," Lu said the UN Security Council should "start discussions on the reversible clauses of the resolutions."

The council should "adjust the sanctions in accordance with the principle of simultaneous reciprocity," he said.

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