North and South Korean Leaders Meet to Discuss Canceled Summit With Trump

Pastel-coloured penuryWhat life is like for ordinary North Koreans

Pastel-coloured penuryWhat life is like for ordinary North Koreans

South Korea's Moon will announce the outcome of his meeting with Kim on Sunday morning.

North and South Korea's leaders held surprise talks on Saturday after President Donald Trump cast an uncertain pall over the turbulent Korean peninsula by cancelling a historic summit with Pyongyang only to suggest it might still go ahead.

"It could even be the 12th", referring to the original date set for the meeting in Singapore. "That hasn't changed and it's moving along pretty well".

The on-again off-again summit between both Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un was initially called off but it was then said to take place as planned in Singapore on June 12.

Kim has launched a diplomatic offensive since the beginning of the year, meeting not only with Moon but also Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing. "Chairman Kim is anxious about whether he can trust that the USA will end the policy of hostility and guarantee the stability of his regime" after denuclearization.

Tensions were calmed after Kim extended an olive branch to Seoul by offering to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, sparking a sudden detente that led to Trump agreeing to hold direct talks with the North Korean leader.

Saturday's meeting was only the fourth time - but the second in a month - that leaders from the North and South have met.

USA and North Korean officials were huddled in the Korean truce village of Panmunjom for a second day Monday, hammering out details of a proposed summit amid media reports that South Korean President Moon Jae-in may attend the historic meeting.

"Sadly, based on the tremendous anger and open hostility displayed in your most recent statement, l feel it is inappropriate at this time to have this long-planned meeting", Trump said in a release.

The rhetoric reached fever pitch Thursday when a high-level North Korean Foreign Ministry official called U.S. Vice President Mike Pence a "political dummy" for repeating a reference to the "Libya model" with respect to talks with North Korea. During the talks Kim and Moon pledged "no more war", as well as the common goal of the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula.

Mr Trump added: "Everybody plays games".

Trump withdrew from the summit Thursday, but has left open the possibility that the two leaders could still meet.

On Friday, however, Trump said that the two countries are nevertheless engaged in "very productive talks" and the summit could still take place on June 12. "It was a very nice statement they put out", Trump said on the South Lawn before departing in his helicopter for the US Naval Academy in Maryland, where he is delivering a commencement address. In the same bombastic statement, Pyongyang also threatened a nuclear showdown. 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. It fanned fears in South Korea that the country may lose its voice between a rival intent on driving a wedge between Washington and Seoul and an American president who thinks less of the traditional alliance with Seoul than his predecessors did.

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