United States and North Korea preparing Trump-Kim summit

May 28, 2018, 02:27
United States and North Korea preparing Trump-Kim summit

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said he urged North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to directly engage with Washington to salvage the June 12 nuclear summit with the US, when the two leaders held a surprise second inter-Korean summit Saturday.

Mr Trump told reporters that they are still considering Singapore as the venue for their talks.

Trump's unpredictability sparked a sudden and surprise meeting on Saturday between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in - only the fourth time leaders from the two countries have ever met - as they scrambled to get the talks back on track.

While Trump's summit cancellation caused anxiety for USA ally South Korea, Seoul is expected to keep enforcing existing sanctions. President Trump said on Friday that the summit might even be held on the originally scheduled date of June 12.

Mr Kim may see the sit-down with Mr Trump as necessary to easing pressure from crushing sanctions and to winning security assurances in a region surrounded by enemies.

US President Donald Trump's cancellation of the planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reportedly caught South Korea's president by surprise, and he's called an emergency meeting at midnight, Seoul time.

"Kim stressed again that he had a firm determination towards complete denuclearisation", the South Korean president added.

"Kim Jong Un on his part did everything he promised to do, even blew up some tunnels on their sites and after this we hear the U.S. is canceling the meeting", Putin said, referring to North Korea's apparent destruction of at least three nuclear tunnels, observation buildings, a metal foundry and living quarters at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site on Thursday.

His comment was backed up by reports of Trump administration officials traveling to North Korea on Sunday to begin preparations for the summit. But the rhetoric from Pyongyang suggests Kim Jong-un believes his nuclear arsenal puts him in a much stronger position than his father or grandfather and, because of that, he is very close to grasping the long-dreamed-of prize, a face-to-face summit with a USA president.

At their first meeting on April 27, Kim and Moon first announced "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" and permanent peace, which Seoul has tried to sell as a meaningful breakthrough to set up the summit with Trump.

The South Korean president also revealed that the two sides agreed to hold stalled high-level inter-Korean talks on June 1, and to hold military and Red Cross talks in succession.

"Kim Jong Un knows his [nuclear] program inside and out", Hayden told ABC News Global Correspondent and "This Week" co-anchor Martha Raddatz on Sunday. The North has previously used the term to demand the United States pull out its 28,500 troops in South Korea and withdraw its so-called "nuclear umbrella" security commitment to South Korea and Japan. Moon said Sunday that the North's disarmament could be still be a hard process even if Pyongyang, Washington and Seoul don't differ over what "complete denuclearization" of the peninsula means. Trump has since indicated that the meeting could take place, after all.

Trump then addressed the summit.

The meeting was the latest dramatic turn in a week of diplomatic flip-flops surrounding the prospects for an unprecedented summit between the United States and North Korea, and the strongest sign yet that the two Korean leaders are trying to keep the on-again off-again summit on track.

But within 24 hours he said the meeting could still go ahead after productive talks were held with North Korean officials. Moon said Trump's decision left him "perplexed" and was "very regrettable".

Saturday's summit marks the fourth meeting between the leaders of the two Koreas since they were divided at the end of the World War II in 1945.

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