U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader Kim Jong Un have agreed to continue "productive" discussions on denuclearization, Pyongyang's state media said on Friday, hours after the second summit between the two leaders ended abruptly with no agreement in Hanoi.
The highly-anticipated meeting in Vietnam was expected to build on their historic first summit in Singapore last year, but the latest talks ended in a deadlock with Washington and Pyongyang giving starkly different accounts of the reasons behind the impasse.
On Friday, however, the DPRK's KCNA news agency said that Kim and Trump had "agreed to continue having productive talks to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and improvement of U.S.-North Korea (DPRK) relations."
"Chairman Kim and President Trump have expressed their confidence that North Korea (DPRK)-U.S. relations can achieve groundbreaking improvements if they collaborate together with patience and wisdom, although there are many unavoidable obstacles ahead," KCNA said, making no mention of the breakdown of the high-stakes summit.
DPRK FM Ri Yong Ho disputes Trump's reason for summit collapse
The report came hours after DPRK Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho held a highly unusual late-night press conference, denying Trump's claims that Pyongyang was seeking a complete lifting of sanctions.
Ri told reporters his country had offered to dismantle its Yongbyon nuclear plant in exchange for partial sanctions relief, while Trump had earlier said that Pyongyang had demanded the lifting of all sanctions imposed over the country's banned nuclear weapon and ballistic missile programs.
Ri said Pyongyang's position won't change even if U.S. seeks further talks.
Trump: Talks with Kim 'productive' but sanctions will continue
During a press conference after his second summit with Kim in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, Trump told reporters on Thursday that he had a "very productive" time with Kim, but he decided not to sign anything at this time.
He also said the DPRK wants sanctions lifted but the U.S. is not willing to do so.
Trump suggested that the U.S. side is not satisfied with the areas the DPRK promised to work on and demanded a bigger compromise from the latter on denuclearization.