North Korean officials dispute Trump's characterization of Trump-Kim summit

North Korean officials on Thursday pushed back in a rare news conference on President TrumpDonald John TrumpJimmy Carter: 'I hope there's an age limit' on presidency White House fires DHS general counsel: report Trump to cap California trip with visit to the border MORE's description of talks that ended abruptly on Thursday without a deal.

The North Korean response, which contradicted some of Trump's earlier statements, cast doubt on whether talks may proceed.

North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong Ho claimed that Kim Jong Un had asked for some economic sanctions to be lifted in exchange for steps toward denuclearization, a break from Trump's earlier explanation that the two sides failed to reach an agreement because Pyongyang wanted Trump to lift all economic sanctions.

"This proposal was the biggest denuclearization measure we could take at the present stage in relations to [the] current level of confidence between the DPRK and the United States," Ri said through a translator.


Bloomberg reported that North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said Kim "may have lost the will” to negotiate with Trump after the latest round of talks.

The rare news conference raised some uncertainty over where talks will go after this week's summit in Vietnam failed to produce a deal. Ri said it is "difficult to say" whether a better deal might materialize, but that North Korea would not budge on its demands.

"Our principle stance will remain invariable, and our proposal will never be changed even though the United States proposes negotiation again in the future," Ri said through a translator.

Trump said at his own news conference after a second day of meetings with Kim and other North Korean officials that he walked away from a deal because North Korea had asked to lift sanctions in their entirety.

"They were willing to denuke a large portion of the areas we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that," Trump said.

Asked later if he wants all nuclear weapons to be given up before sanctions are lifted, Trump said, “We want a lot to be given up.”

Despite the lack of any concrete results, Trump and Secretary of State Mike PompeoMichael (Mike) Richard PompeoTrump fires back at Graham over Iran criticism Overnight Defense: GOP wary of action on Iran | Pence says US 'locked and loaded' to defend allies | Iran's leader rules out talks with US Republicans wary of US action on Iran MORE told reporters that the summit was productive, and that the U.S. hoped to continue negotiations in the "days and weeks ahead."