WASHINGTON, March 3 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wasn't prepared to accept U.S. President Donald Trump's "big deal" at their summit in Hanoi last week, U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton said Sunday.
Bolton refused to characterize the summit as a failure although it was cut short without an agreement on dismantling the North's nuclear weapons program.
"I don't consider the summit a failure," he said in an interview with CBS. "I consider it a success defined as the president protecting and advancing American national interest."
After the summit, Trump told a press conference that North Korea had wanted the removal of all sanctions in exchange for partial denuclearization.
The North Koreans later rebutted that they had proposed partial sanctions relief.
"The issue, really, was whether North Korea was prepared to accept what the president called 'the big deal,' which is denuclearize entirely under a definition the president handed to Kim Jong-un, and have the potential for an enormous economic future," Bolton said.
In a separate interview with Fox News, the adviser said Trump had tried to persuade Kim "to take the big deal that really could make a difference for North Korea."
When that didn't work, the president walked away.
"I think he made a very important point to North Korea and to other countries around the world about negotiating with him," Bolton said. "He's not desperate for a deal, not with North Korea, not with anybody, if it's contrary to American national interest."