The U.S. has said that North Korean leader was not prepared for a deal Washington had to offer during a meeting with the U.S. president in Vietnam last week which was unexpectedly cut short.
Speaking to CBS News on Sunday, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said that Kim Jong-un “wasn’t prepared to accept U.S. President Donald Trump’s big deal”.
However, the statement made by Bolton contradicts Pyongyang stand on the Hanoi summit.
“What we have asked for was the partial lifting of sanctions, not in their entirety,” North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho told a rare midnight news conference in Hanoi, Vietnam, last Friday.
“In detail, we asked to lift five sanctions that were imposed within 2016 and 2017 out of a total of 11 UN sanctions and which affect ordinary people’s livelihoods.”
After walking out of the Hanoi summit, U.S. President Donald Trump had said: “It was about sanctions. Kim wanted sanctions to be lifted in entirety, we could not do that. [But] we have not given up.”
Bolton, however, consistently refused to characterize the Hanoi summit as a “failure” since Trump and Kim broke away just after the beginning of its second day.
“I don’t think we are in any worse shape than they were in past demonstrations. I think in fact we are in a stronger position because the maximum pressure campaign, as it’s been called, of putting tighter economic sanctions on North Korea and enforcing those sanctions more effectively is what brought them to this point,” Bolton said.
“Extensive discussions between the president and Kim Jong-un and- and the issue really was whether North Korea was prepared to accept what the president called ‘the big deal’, which is denuclearizing entirely under a definition the president handed to Kim Jong-un and have the potential for an enormous economic future or try and do something less than that which was unacceptable to us,” he added.