Hope’s not lost: Kim meets South Korean President Moon yet again to revive June 12 talk prospects
A month after the historic Korean Summit, North Korean Supreme Leader Kim Jong-un met South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the same border truce village of Punmunjeom again on Saturday, May 26, to bring the Korean peace process back on track. The duo's surprise meeting was held to ensure that the June 12 talks between Kim and US President Donald Trump takes place successfully, Reuters cited South Korean officials as saying.
Trump suddenly announced withdrawal from the scheduled talks on Thursday, May 24, by personally writing to Kim saying Pyongyang's "tremendous anger" and "open hostility" made it inappropriate to go ahead with the summit, leaving the North in a state of "regret" and the South "perplexed".
The latest round of meeting between Kim and Moon was about making the Kim-Trump meeting, the first ever to take place between a North Korean leader and a sitting American president, a successful one, and about implementing the Panmunjeom Declaration that the two leaders jointly announced during their April 27 summit, Reuters cited South Korean presidential spokesperson as saying in a statement.
Moon, who just returned after meeting Trump at the White House, was set to reveal the details of his meeting with Kim on Sunday, May 27.
On Friday, Trump also said that talks were on between Washington and Pyongyang about the possibility of holding the meeting again, just after a day of scrapping it. North Korea reacted to Trump's call by saying it was ready to go ahead with the talks any time and in any form. It also officially dismantled its nuclear site in the presence of foreign journalists on Wednesday, May 23.
Trump also said in a Twitter post on Friday that "productive talks" were on about reinstating the summit. "We are having very productive talks about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th., and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date," his post said.
According to the Politico magazine, a team comprising 30 White House and State Department officials was preparing to leave for Singapore this weekend to pave the way to the high-profile summit aimed at denuclearisation of North Korea and bring peace back in the volatile Korean Peninsula.