March 1, 2019 / 3:22 AM / 4 months ago

Pompeo says North Korea not clear on scope of closing Yongbyon facility

MANILA (Reuters) - U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Friday that North Korea had asked for full sanctions lifting during a summit in Hanoi but lacked complete clarity on what it was prepared to offer on dismantling the Yongbyon nuclear facility.

“They were pretty expansive with respect to what they are prepared to do at Yongbyon but there was still not complete clarity with respect to full scope of what it is they were prepared to offer,” Pompeo told a news conference during a short stop in Manila.

He said the United States was “anxious to get back to the table to continue that conversation”.

Pompeo said North Korea had “basically asked for full sanctions relief”.

A second summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un collapsed on Thursday over sanctions, and the two sides gave conflicting accounts of what happened. Trump said Kim wanted sanctions lifted “in their entirety”, but North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho later said Pyongyang had sought only a partial lifting of sanctions.

Ri said that a realistic proposal had been made for engineers of both countries to dismantle all of its main nuclear site at Yongbyon.

Reporting by Manila Newsroom; Writing by Martin Petty; Editing by Michael Perry

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