USA in 'productive talks' about reinstating June North Korea summit, says Trump

Sunday, 27 May, 2018

White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders said Saturday that the "pre-advance team for Singapore will leave as scheduled in order to prepare should the summit take place".

On Friday, Trump said that his administration was back in touch with North Korea and the two sides may reschedule the meeting with Kim Jong-un, perhaps even on the original June 12 date.

"The two leaders frankly exchanged their opinions on implementing the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration [which the two struck in April at their first historic summit] and for the successful staging of a U.S. -NK summit", Blue House spokesman Yoon Young-chan said.

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (L) shakes hands with North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un before their second summit at the north side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on May 26, 2018.

The inter-Korean summit was also unique as it was the first time in over a decade that it was being held. "North Korea dialogue. We are continuing to watch developments carefully".

National Intelligence Service Director Suh Hoon of South Korea and Kim Yong Chol, vice-chairman of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea of North Korea accompanied their leaders at the summit table.

North Korea has been subjected to numerous rounds of global sanctions since 2006, which has cut off most of its exports and capped its imports of oil.

"Kim's main concern is that he needs to be able to have trust that the USA will surely ensure regime guarantee after they completely denuclearize", Moon told reporters at the Blue House in a press conference broadcast live Sunday morning.

The White House is sending a team to Singapore in the event that the summit between the US and North Korea does take place.

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.

"They very much want to do it".

Hopes for a lasting peace in the Korean peninsula are not entirely dashed following President Trump's tweet late Friday that the next month's talks with North Korea in Singapore could be back on after "productive talks" between the two countries.

Trump had earlier indicated the summit could be salvaged after welcoming a conciliatory statement from North Korea saying it remained open to talks.

Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong also attended the meeting, the Blue House confirmed.

On Saturday, President Moon Jae In and Chairman Kim Jong Un met to discuss carrying out peace agreements and resuming talks with the U.S.

U.S. officials said the final straw came when a North Korean Foreign Ministry official called Vice President Mike Pence a "political dummy" and hinted that Pyongyang was ready for a "nuclear showdown" should diplomacy fail.