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01st Mar 2019

Trump says his relationship with North Korea is “very strong” after summit talks break down

Dave Hanratty

Donald Trump whistleblower

North Korea has promised to hold further nuclear talks despite no deal being reached.

US President Donald Trump has insisted that his relationship with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un remains positive as nuclear talks between the two broke down.

The two world leaders met in Hanoi, Vietnam this week in a bid to reach a deal over denuclearisation.

Confusion has followed the breakdown of Thursday’s meeting, with Trump stating that Pyongyang has requested that the US lift all sanctions imposed over its banned weapon programmes.

North Korean foreign minister Ri Yong-ho, meanwhile, has since denied this, noting that his country only asked for partial relief from the sanctions, adding that his side have presented “realistic” proposals.

One such proposal concerns the closing and dismantling of nuclear production facilities at North Korea’s Yongbyon complex.

Furthermore, it has been reported that North Korean news outlets described the summit as a positive one, with further talks set to take place.

Speaking at a news conference on Thursday, Trump was fairly deferential in his remarks towards his opposite number.

“We spent pretty much all day with Kim Jong-un, who is, he’s quite a guy and quite a character,” said Trump.

“I think our relationship is very strong, but at this time, we had some options, and at this time we decided not to do any of the options.

“And we’ll see where that goes, but it was a very interesting two days. I think, actually, it was a very productive two days but sometimes you have to walk, and this was just one of those times.”

Trump also noted that Kim Jong-un had promised him that North Korea would cease nuclear testing.

“I trust him and I take him at his word, and I hope that that’s true,” he offered.

“In the meantime, we’ll be talking. Mike [Pence] will be speaking with his people. He’s also developed a very good relationship with the people, really the people representing North Korea.

“I haven’t spoken to Prime Minister Abe yet, I haven’t spoken to President Moon in South Korea, but we will and we’ll tell them it’s a process and it’s moving along.

“But we just felt that it wasn’t appropriate to sign an agreement today. We could have, I just felt it wasn’t very appropriate.”

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