Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Global | By Marsha Munoz

Leaders of Koreas hold surprise meeting as Trump revives hopes of summit

Leaders of Koreas hold surprise meeting as Trump revives hopes of summit

Photos released by South Korea's presidential office showed Moon arriving at the North Korean side of the Panmunjom truce village on Saturday and shaking hands with Kim Jong Un's sister, Kim Yo Jong, before sitting down with the North Korean leader for their summit.

Mr Moon said he and Mr Kim had "agreed that the 12 June summit should be held successfully" and that the North Korean leader had "again made clear his commitment to a complete denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula". "I think he knows what he can concede and what it means and what he cannot concede". In an apparent reference to this move, Moon said USA and North Korean working-level officials would be discussing the agenda of the summit.

Experts were more skeptical however.

Moon has insisted Kim can be persuaded to abandon his nuclear facilities, materials and bombs in a verifiable and irreversible way in exchange for credible security and economic guarantees. At that meeting, they declared they would work towards a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

Kim Jong Un North Korea China
Kim Jong-un’s outbursts saw the summit cancelled but now it appears to be on again

"I think people want to see if we can get the meeting and get something done", the President told reporters.

Moon huddled with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Saturday and he said the despot agreed that the historic summit should go off as planned. Their last meeting on April 27 was held on the South side.

"However, during the US-South Korea summit, President Trump clearly emphasised that we may see not only the end of hostile relations but also economic cooperation if North Korea denuclearises", Moon said.

"Hey Donald, I'm already in Singapore, waiting for you to turn up", Howard X said.

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The meeting would be the culmination of diplomatic efforts that began this year to defuse what had threatened to become a military confrontation between the nuclear-armed communist North and the South.

After Trump pulled out, North Korea replied with a tempered statement indicating that it was still willing to meet.

In previous failed talks, North Korea said it could consider giving up its arsenal if Washington removed its troops from South Korea and withdrew its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from South Korea and Japan.

She also said it was up to the Americans whether they would "meet us at a meeting room or encounter us at nuclear-to-nuclear showdown".

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Surprised Singaporeans pursued North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Sunday before realising the portly man with slick black hair near the Marina Bay Sands hotel was an impersonator. "I'd like to say that the fact that North Korea and the USA agreed to have a summit and working-level talks indicates that the US has already confirmed the North's intentions". The summit―preceded by multiple meetings with South Korean president Moon Jae-in―was set up to discuss the prospect of denuclearization among other contentious topics.

"I urge North Korea and the confirm each other's will by sharing their problems with each other and communicating directly", Moon added.

After abruptly canceling the North Korean summit Thursday, Trump told reporters Saturday that he, too, was still considering the June 12 meeting.

Moon, who returned to Seoul on Thursday morning after meeting Trump in Washington in a bid to keep the high-stakes U.S. Sung Kim was an ambassador to South Korea from 2011 to 2014.

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The meetings are expected to continue on Monday and Tuesday and are focused on the issue of North Korea's nuclear weapons program, it said.

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