North, South Korea hold meeting over likely U.S. summit

Handout.  Reuters                   Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae In embrace at the border

Handout. Reuters Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae In embrace at the border

South Korean President Moon Jae-in gave details about his surprise meeting Saturday with Kim in Panmunjom, saying Kim had committed to sitting down with Trump and to a "complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula".

After Trump's latest missives about the possibility of the summit being held as scheduled, a spokesman for the Blue House called the move a positive development. Yet, later, it was reported that the US and North Korea leaders will probably negotiate.

South Korea, a longtime US ally, was not notified ahead of time before Trump's letter canceling with Kim was made public.

"The two leaders candidly exchanged their opinions on the implementation of the April 27 Panmunjom joint declaration and successful staging of the US-North Korea summit set for June 12 in Singapore", Yoon said.

The summit, set for June 12, was jeopardized when, on May 11, the US and South Korea started a two-week annual air combat regional exercise, viewed by Pyongyang as a threat to its security.

The Singapore summit had been much-anticipated since March, when Trump announced that he planned to meet with Kim following a 2017 that saw the two leaders trading personal insults and nuclear threats with one another.

The talks are expected to continue tomorrow at Tongilgak, or "Unification House", the building in the northern part of the demilitarised zone where Kim met Moon on Saturday, The Post reported.

According to pictures and footage released by Cheong Wa Dae, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hugged President Moon while escorting him after the summit.

KCNA said Moon signed the visitors' book in Thongil House where the meeting took place, writing "Peace and Prosperity of the Korean Peninsula, together with Chairman Kim Jong Un".

North Korea's vice foreign minister said his country remained open to resolving issues with Washington "regardless of ways, at any time, any format".

Trump announced on Thursday that he was cancelling the planned meeting with Kim, which had been slated for June 12 in Singapore. The delegation was to include White House Deputy Chief of Staff Joseph Hagin and deputy national security adviser Mira Ricardel, U.S. officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Last year Trump and Kim were threatening war after Pyongyang tested its most powerful nuclear bomb to date and launched test missiles it said were capable of reaching the United States.

But he left the door open to future meetings and Pyongyang's immediate reaction was to say it was willing to sit down "at any time", prompting Trump to reply that the Singapore summit could still take place.

"Both sides still leave some maneuver for a discussion", Wang said Friday on a panel at the St. Petersburg International Economic Forum in Russian Federation.

"We're talking to them now".

All three leaders have considerable political capital on the line, with Trump having lauded his deal-making prowess, Kim being pounded by sanctions, and Moon making calmer relations with the North a hallmark aim of his presidency.

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