'NK wants sanctions relief due to food shortage' | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED

'NK wants sanctions relief due to food shortage'

North Korea is keen to have sanctions eased, as the country faces a dire food shortage, a former U.K. ambassador to North Korea said.

After a summit between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in Hanoi last month failed to produce an agreement, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho told reporters that Pyongyang had asked for sanctions relating to the people's livelihoods to be eased.

North Korea has asked the U.N. for food aid, stating it is facing a production shortfall of 1.4 million tons of food this year.

Last year, North Korea's food production fell to its lowest in more than a decade, according to a recent U.N. report.

"The North Korean economy is in deep trouble," said John Everard, who served as U.K. ambassador to Pyongyang from 2006 to 2008.

"Kim said in his first speech to his people there will be no return to the Arduous March. If hunger reappears, politically Kim will be in trouble. He will be seen to have broken his promise to his people," he said.

The Arduous March refers to a famine in North Korea that lasted from 1994 to 1998. It is estimated to have resulted in at least 300,000 deaths from starvation and hunger-related illnesses.