The Korea Herald


NK's Rodong Sinmun casts Hanoi summit in positive light without referring to actual results

By Yonhap

Published : March 1, 2019 - 12:01

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One day after the summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's historic summit ended without an agreement, the Rodong Sinmun on Friday carried extensive reports on the summit, portraying it in a positive tone.

On its front and second pages, the North's mainstream daily carried a long news story and 13 photos of the two leaders and their negotiation teams, all smiling and engaging with each other in the summit meeting in the Vietnamese capital Thursday. 

(Yonhap) (Yonhap)

"(Chairman Kim) Kim expressed his thanks to Trump for making positive efforts for the successful meeting and talks ... promising the next meeting," the report said.

"It was a meaningful chance to develop the North Korean-US relations to the interests of the people of the two countries and to contribute to the peace and security of the Korean Peninsula, its region and the world," the Rodong Sinmun said as it painted a rosy picture of the meeting.

The front page had four big images of the two leaders' one-on-one meeting, while the second page carried an assortment of photos showing the two leaders on a stroll around the summit venue, as well as an extended meeting with their aides.

All the photos seem to have been carefully picked to feature the meetings in a positive, cheerful mode.

But the photos and the news article did not go into the summit's widely reported failure to reach a deal over denuclearizing and lifting sanctions on North Korea. It also did not cover the facts that their afternoon schedules of a luncheon and a deal signing were canceled.

That indicates the North will continue talks with the US.

The report is in line with earlier coverage by the Korean Central News Agency and another state-controlled North Korean news outlet that were positive about the Thursday summit and omitted the actual results.

Trump said the talks ended without a deal because Pyongyang demanded the US lift sanctions "in their entirety" while offering to denuclearize "less important" areas than the US demanded.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho later refuted the claim, saying they asked only for partial sanctions relief in exchange for permanently dismantling all fissile material facilities at the country's Yongbyon complex in the attendance of American experts.

The North's Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui said leader Kim "may have lost his enthusiasm for a deal between the North and the US down the road," a remark that keenly contrasted the rosy tone of the Rodong newspaper.

Experts on North Korean issues indicated that the Rodong Sinmun reports may be intended to tell the world that it will leave the door open for further talks with the US and continue to seek negotiations over the denuclearization issue. (Yonhap)