In a very rare press conference, Ri Yong Ho, the country's foreign minister, said his nation demanded only partial sanctions relief in exchange for closing the country's main nuclear complex and that discussions fell apart after the United States demanded further disarmament steps.
Ho’s comments in Hanoi contradicted the explanation by Trump, who hours earlier told reporters that North Korea had demanded a full removal of sanctions in exchange for shuttering the Yongbyon nuclear facility.
Speaking before he left Hanoi, Trump told reporters he had asked Kim to do more regarding his intentions to denuclearize, and “he was unprepared to do that.”
“Sometimes you have to walk,” Trump said at a solo press conference following the summit.
Trump specifically said negotiations fell through after North Korea demanded a full removal of U.S.-led international sanctions in exchange for closing the North's Yongbyon nuclear facility. Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told reporters that the United States wasn't willing to make a deal without North Korea committing to giving up its secretive nuclear facilities outside Yongbyon, as well as its missile and warheads program.
“It was about the sanctions,” Trump said. “Basically, they wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn’t do that. They were willing to de-nuke a large portion of the areas that we wanted, but we couldn’t give up all of the sanctions for that.”
"I'd much rather do it right than do it fast," Trump added, echoing his remarks from earlier in the day when he insisted that "speed" was not important. "We're in position to do something very special."
Fox News' Gregg Re and The Associated Press contributed to this report.