Surprise! Kim and Moon meet and even Trump is hopeful again

Geraldine Edwards
May 27, 2018

Politico magazine reported that an advance team of 30 White House and state department officials was preparing to leave for Singapore later this weekend.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a surprise summit on Saturday to discuss the potential of reviving the canceled meeting between Kim and President Donald Trump.

The surprise summit between the two leaders took place in Panmunjeon on the inter-Korean border, and marks yet another turnaround from when Pyongyang called off talks with the South on May 15 over joint U.S. - ROK military drills.

After some fiery North Korean rhetoric, Mr Trump announced the summit would not be held.

"Today's summit is aimed at resolving the misunderstanding caused by communication glitches between Washington and Pyongyang and lay the groundwork for the US-North Korea summit", he told AFP.

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Their second-ever meeting took place in the demilitarised zone between the two countries. "The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth".

The President will announce the outcome of the talks on Sunday morning, he said.

Analysts say Mr. Kim's diplomatic outreach in recent months after a flurry of nuclear and missile tests in 2017 indicates he is eager for sanctions relief to build his economy and the global legitimacy the summit with Mr. Trump would provide.

The two signed the three-page agreement at their earlier meeting, stating that "South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula", officials said Saturday.

"Based on the bilateral alliance with the United States, we will get ready to move for progress on the abduction, nuclear and missile issues", a source with the prime minister's office said.

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Trump canceled it on Thursday citing "tremendous anger and open hostility" from the communist regime, only to suggest later that it may go ahead after the North issued a conciliatory statement.

"All the efforts I am making now are aimed at improving the South-North Korea relationship on one hand, but on the other hand, they are also aimed at holding the North Korea-U.S. summit that is absolutely needed to improve the South-North ties", Moon said.

"They very much want to do it; we'd like to do it", he said.

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.

Experts believe that economic pressure brought about by the sanctions has encouraged Kim Jong-un to seek talks.

Trump cancels summit with Kim Jong
The world, and North Korea in particular , has lost a great opportunity for a lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth. His withdrawal from a hastily arranged summit with Kim Jong Un drew strong criticism and some praise in Washington.

"Very productive talks" are underway between the USA and North Korea over reinstating a summit in June, Donald Trump has said.

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