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North Korean media are ignoring the fact that Kim and Trump's summit ended in failure

Mar 1, 2019, 17:38 IST

The front page of North Korea's state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper reporting on chairman Kim Jong Un's summit with US President Donald Trump on March 1, 2019.Rodong Sinmun via BBC Monitoring/Twitter

  • North Korean state media are ignoring the fact that leader Kim Jong Un's summit with President Donald Trump in Vietnam ended early without a deal.
  • North Korean media praised the "extraordinary" and "successful" summit, and didn't mention that it ended early. It also emphasized Kim's standing as Trump's equal.
  • State TV also aired programs about trees and a local hospital while the summit was going on, the BBC reported.
  • North Korea's foreign minister also contradicted Trump's reason for the failed talks in a rare press conference on Friday.

North Korea's state media seem to be glossing over the fact that Kim Jong Un's summit with President Donald Trump in Hanoi, Vietnam, ended early without a deal.

Trump told media on Thursday the summit ended early because Kim wanted total sanctions relief in exchange for only a few nuclear site closures.

The White House canceled the two leaders' planned lunch on Thursday, and Trump brought forward his scheduled press conference by around two hours.

But North Korean state media hasn't mentioned the lack of a deal or any botches to the schedule, focusing instead on the "extraordinary" and "successful" summit instead.


Leah Millis/Reuters

According to a Friday report in the state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA), Trump and Kim had a "constructive and candid exchange of opinions over the practical issues arising in opening up a new era of DPRK-US fence-mending on the basis of the progress." The Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) is the official name for North Korea.

KCNA added that the two leaders' talks were of "great significance in building mutual trust and radically turning around the decades-long relationship of mistrust and antagonism between the two countries."

The summit, it said, also "marked an important occasion for deepening mutual respect and trust and making the bilateral ties leap to a new stage."

The KCNA report also appeared to elevate Kim's status as Trump's equal, noting that the North Korean leader "expressed his thanks to Trump for making positive efforts for the successful meeting and talks while travelling a long way and said goodbye to him, promising the next meeting."


The network also didn't report on the cancelation of Trump and Kim's lunch, or the fact that Trump moved up his scheduled press conference, BBC Monitoring reported.

Kim Jong Un arrives at the Dong Dang railway station, Vietnam, at the border with China, February 26, 2019.KCNA via REUTERS

Rodong Sinmun, another state-run newspaper in North Korea, also plastered its front pages with Trump and Kim looking happy in Vietnam on Thursday, as seen above.

While Trump gave a press conference explaining the lack of a deal - which was broadcast live on most networks aro udn the world - KCNA aired a feature about a local hospital, BBC Monitoring said.

Earlier in the summit North Korean state media also aired features about planting trees rather than the Trump-Kim meeting, BBC Monitoring said.


Read more: Photos show how Trump's 2nd nuclear summit with Kim Jong Un played out in Vietnam

North Korean state TV at the time of Donald Trump's press conference in Hanoi on Thursday.Korean Central Television

It is not unusual for North Korea to avoid broadcasting live events, and stick to pre-recorded material.

The country doesn't like broadcasting live events in case something goes wrong, and wants to make sure Kim looks good before airing anything.

US President Donald Trump (R) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un hold a meeting during the second US-North Korea summit at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi on February 28, 2019.SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images


North Korea also contradicted Trump's reason for the collapsed summit with Kim in a rare conference its own on Friday.

Trump said on Thursday that Kim had demanded a full relaxations of international sanctions on his country in exchange for only a few nuclear site closures. "We couldn't give up all the sanctions for that," he told reporters at his hotel in Hanoi.

But on Friday, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong Ho said Pyongyang had only asked for a partial - not full - lifting of sanctions.

He added that North Korea offered to dismantle Yongbyon, it's primary nuclear facility, and to permanently halt the testing of nuclear weapons and long-range missiles, but the US ask sed for more.

"It became crystal clear that the US was not ready to accept our proposal," Ri said.


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