North Korea Says It Only Asked Trump For Partial Sanctions Relief

President Trump told reporters the country demanded all sanctions be lifted before it would denuclearize.

North Korea Says It Only Asked Trump For Partial Sanctions Relief
Getty Images

President Donald Trump and North Korean officials are giving different accounts of what happened at a summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, after the president said the two countries couldn't make a deal Thursday. 

President Trump said, "They wanted the sanctions lifted in their entirety, and we couldn't do that."

But during a news conference on Thursday, North Korea's foreign minister said his country only asked for a partial lifting of sanctions in exchange for permanently ending its nuclear material production.

Sen. Chuck Schumer, who has criticized the president in the past, applauded him for walking away without a deal and said the president should do the same thing with the ongoing trade talks with China, if negotiators can't see eye to eye. 

"What he did in North Korea was right. He must do the same thing in China: hold out — because he has the upper hand — until we get China to do the right thing," Schumer said.

International sanctions have been a major roadblock in North Korea's efforts to grow its economy. But even though the country's foreign minister said it was willing to stop nuclear development in exchange for sanctions relief, experts say North Korea still believes nuclear weapons are crucial to its survival.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.