Kim and Moon meet again amid shaky United States summit plans

Posted May 27, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has voiced his "fixed will" on talks with US President Donald Trump during his latest summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Pyongyang's state media said Sunday.

The Blue House, South Korea's presidential office, said in a statement: "They exchanged views and discussed ways to implement the Panmunjom Declaration and to ensure a successful US North Korea summit".

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (left) shakes hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un before their meeting on May 26, 2018, in Panmunjom, North Korea.

The North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un, has met his South Korean counterpart just days after Donald Trump cancelled a planned summit with Kim.

On Thursday, President Trump cancelled the planned summit after a threatening statement issued by North Korea. Pyongyang took issue with the two-week combined air drills between Seoul and Washington that ended Friday.

US President Donald Trump has cancelled the planned summit with North Korea and Kim Jong-un
US President Donald Trump

The two leaders embraced as Moon departed.

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told reporters diplomats were "still at work" and said Trump had just sent a note out on the summit, which could be back on "if our diplomats can pull it off".

During their surprise summit on Saturday, the leaders of the two Koreas also agreed to meet frequently in the future and hold high-level talks between the two countries on June 1, the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported.

If the summit is to take place on June 12, that would leave just two weeks for the USA teams to complete their preparations. She says they were "really excited about the possibility of finally ending the threat of nuclear war on their border, very enthusiastic about a different approach".

"We'll see what happens", he said Friday as he departed for the Naval Academy graduation ceremony in Annapolis, Maryland.

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Trump's administration cited numerous factors in canceling the summit.

Trump seems to think China is key to getting North Korea to the bargaining table, but that might be an overestimation, said John Delury, a North Korea expert at Yonsei University in Seoul.

"You could look at this as trash talking in anticipation of the big game, " said Christopher Hill, the lead USA negotiator with North Korea in the George W. Bush administration.

He urged Washington and Pyongyang to resolve their differences through 'more direct and closer dialogue between their leaders'.

First Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan called Trump's decision "unexpected" and "regrettable" but sounded a conciliatory tone, saying officials were willing "to sit face-to-face at any time".

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Frank Aum, a former senior Pentagon adviser on North Korea, said it seeks a phased process in which each side takes "progressive and synchronous" steps toward denuclearization and peace.

"The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth", Trump wrote in a letter to Kim Thursday.

Shortly before Mr Trump's tweet, the South Korean presidency said it was thankful that the "summit embers are not put out and it is coming back to life".

"We consider it fortunate that the embers of dialogue between the USA and North Korea have not died and are now being revived", he said.

"We reiterate to the USA that there is a willingness to sit down at any time, in any way, to solve the problem", Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan said in a statement carried by state-run media.

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