Prospects of U.S.-North Korea summit brighten after Trump's tweet

Marsha Scott
May 28, 2018

But North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the demilitarized zone on Saturday in an effort to maintain good relations between their two nations and discuss the possible summit with the USA, in a meeting that was kept secret until after it happened.

The summit would be an unprecedented meeting between a sitting U.S. president and a North Korean leader, which Washington hopes will result in the full denuclearization of the reclusive state.

Trump later on Saturday tweeted that the summit, if it does happen, will likely take place on June 12 in Singapore as originally planned.

The South Korean President met Kim on the North side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas late Saturday. He said: "They very much want to do it, we'd like to do it".

The meeting inside the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) dividing the two nations comes a day after the U.S. president said his summit with Pyongyangcould still go ahead.

"Very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea".

Washington announced on Saturday it will send a planning team to Singapore to prepare for a possible summit with Kim Jong Un, even though it remains unclear if the negotiations with Pyongyang will go ahead.

Pastel-coloured penuryWhat life is like for ordinary North Koreans

But North Korea responded Friday by saying it was willing to talk to the United States "at any time" - a reaction Trump welcomed as "warm and productive". Spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo and South Korean Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha reaffirmed their "shared commitment to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula" and pledged to coordinate "in all of their efforts to create conditions for dialogue with North Korea". At that meeting, they declared they would work toward a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

But the White House stunned the world Thursday by canceling the meeting 18 days before it was due to take place and by warning that the usa military is prepared to act.

South Korean officials told Reuters that the objective of the meeting was to ensure that the Singapore summit goes ahead as planned.

In his letter to Kim, Trump objected specifically to a statement from senior North Korean diplomat Choe Son Hui.

Kim and Moon met for two hours on the North Korean side of the truce village Panmunjom between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m. local time (2:00 4:00 a.m. ET), according to the Blue House, which released pictures of the two leaders embracing. Trump said his on Friday - a day after he cancelled the meeting blaming Pyongyang's "open hostility".

But Kim, through two summits with Chinese President Xi Jinping in March and May, has called for a phased and synchronized process in which every action he takes is met with a reciprocal reward from the United States.

Their second meeting, held in secret and announced only after it took place, came amid doubts about the future of Kim's planned summit meeting with President Trump. "North Korea summit could be back on very soon", said Harry Kazianis of the conservative Center for the National Interest think-tank in Washington.

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Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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