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SKorean President Moon Jae-in meets NKorea's Kim Jong Un

26 May, 2018, 18:03 | Author: Lawrence Cooper
  • Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un

"It could even be the 12th".

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

"We're talking to them now", he said.

"Very good news to receive the warm and productive statement from North Korea", Trump tweeted.

With all of that said, I'm still wondering if Moon's main goal is actually to make the meeting between Kim and Trump happen. "Only time [and talent] will tell!" the president tweeted.

It was read by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo - who met Kim earlier this month - to the Senate moments after Trump published it.

In this handout image provided by South Korean Presidential Blue House, South Korean President Moon Jae-in (Right) hugs with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (Left) before their meeting on Saturday.

He said North Korea regretted Trump's decision to cancel and remained open to resolving issues "regardless of ways, at any time".

The two sides continue to play hot and cold on the proposed meeting between their leaders, but President Trump himself indicated on Friday that they had reengaged in talks after they had broken down over what Pyongyang saw as threatening tone and posture from Washington ahead of the proposed June 12 date in Singapore. The stakes are thus very high indeed.

Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong also attended the meeting, the Blue House confirmed. The Singapore summit would have been the culmination of this outreach.

So is the on again, off again summit between President Trump and Kim Jong-un...

The head-spinning reversal came in the wake of Trump's withdrawal Thursday in a letter addressed to Kim in which he cited "tremendous anger and open hostility" from the nuclear-armed North.

Trump had said earlier Friday that the potentially historic summit might be getting back on track.

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First Vice-Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan called the decision "unexpected" and "regrettable".

North Korea hardened its rhetoric toward the USA on Thursday, lashing out after remarks by Vice President Mike Pence and the White House national security adviser, John Bolton, that had linked the country with Libya.

It is unknown whether North Korea requested the meeting first, but sources told ABC News it was arranged in the morning.

"We never expected it to be easy", Nauert told reporters.

Trump then issued his own threat in a letter to Kim.

The North might have also sensed an opening in Trump's seemingly mixed messages.

Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe had also said he regretted the summit's cancellation, while China's foreign ministry said it would play a constructive role in trying to restart the dialogue between the USA and North Korea because the summit offered a "rare opportunity" for denuclearisation.

Next, the meeting can only take place in one place: South Korea, with the best option being in the stark setting of the Demilitarized Zone.

But the erratic and brinksman-like diplomacy from the White House may have prompted South Korea to go onto the front foot to preserve the opportunity to reduce the threat on its border from a neighbour that had spent much of past year aggressively firing missiles into worldwide air space and exploded its sixth nuclear device.

All this is playing out in public, by the hour, as Trump practices diplomacy on the fly of the kind unprecedented in USA history even as he is embroiled in a turbulent domestic political spat against Democrats, liberals, and the mainstream media unused to such bare-knuckle and in-your-face politics. And it's between North Korea and the USA right now.

The comments came just a day after Trump cited Pyongyang's "open hostility" in canceling the meeting.

He did not detail the nature of the new US communication with the North.

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