North Korean state media brushed over the failure to reach a deal in its coverage of the Vietnam summit between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un, indicating that hope remains for progress in future negotiations. 

The headline on the front page of Rodong Sinmun, the country’s official newspaper, made no mention of the collapse in talks and the lack of agreement, instead proclaiming how well the summit had gone. 

The newspaper referred to the "constructive and candid exchange" that the US and North Korean leaders had during their two days of meetings in Hanoi, the Vietnamese capital. 

The positive write-up was noted by US officials, who took heart from the fact that North Korea appeared to be playing down the rift rather than returning to the bellicose rhetoric common before the recent thawing in relations. 

Mike Pompeo, the US Secretary of State who had been by Mr Trump’s side for much of the talks, said he was "anxious" to return to the negotiating table in a conversation with reporters during a trip to the Philippines. 

In a separate interview, he reiterated US demands of North Korea: "We need to make sure that we get what Chairman Kim committed – the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula." 

After briefings from US officials and, in a rare move, the North Korean delegation over the last 24 hours a clearer picture has emerged about why the talks hit an impasse in Hanoi. 

Kim and his aides demanded the lifting of all economic sanctions placed on the country since March 2016 and offered in turn to dismantle its Yongbyon nuclear complex, a senior US administration official said.

Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump stroll through the gardens of the Metropole hotel in VietnamCredit:
Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP

That position was rejected by Mr Trump and his team, who have always insisted that sanctions will only be lifted after North Korea gives up its nuclear weapons as well as its means of producing and distributing them. 

The North Korean delegation argued that because they had stopped nuclear and missile testing, the sanctions which Mr Trump imposed over those tests – starting in March 2016, just a few months into his presidency – should be lifted.

Those sanctions, adopted as part of a "maximum pressure" campaign designed to force Pyongyang to the negotiating table, targeted the North Korean economy rather than subjects directly linked to its weapons programme.

The US team refused the proposal because it would have in effect provided a major boost to the North Korean economy while Pyongyang continued to hold stockpiles of nuclear weapons and develop nuclear material. 

"To give many, many billions of dollars in sanctions relief would in effect put us in a position of subsidising the ongoing development of weapons of mass destruction in North Korea," a senior US administration official said. 

Kim’s motorcade left the Melia hotel on Friday afternoon to meet with Nguyen Phu Trong, the Vietnamese president and general secretary of the Communist party, and was later greeted by Nguyen Xuan Phuc, the prime minister.

The Vietnamese will throw a state banquet in his honour in central Hanoi on Friday evening and Kim will lay a wreath at the mausoleum of Ho Chi Minh, Vietnam’s founding president, on Saturday before departing for the return journey to Pyongyang by train.

After failing to forge a deal with Mr Trump which could have boosted his country’s economy, Kim’s bilateral visit is likely to be used as a face-saving measure, with scenes of red-carpet treatment and military guards of honour projecting a statesman-like image.

The collapse in talks forced Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president, to make alterations to a major speech on Friday outlining his hopes for peace on the Korean peninsula in the next 100 years. 

"The new Korean peninsula regime is a new community of economic cooperation that will be formed after the era of ideology and factionalism is put behind us," Mr Moon said in the address. 

He has been a key figure pushing forward denuclearisation talks and hopes progress will help his party’s chances at next year’s parliamentary elections. 

A song called "Our Wish is Unification," popular in both of the Koreas, played in the background as Mr Moon spoke.

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