North, South Korean leaders hold surprise meeting, talks for 2nd time

North, South Korean leaders hold surprise meeting, talks for 2nd time

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have met for the second time in a month to discuss peace commitments they reached in their first summit and Kim's potential meeting with President Donald Trump.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with Kim Saturday in an effort to ensure the landmark meeting between Trump and the North Korean leader goes ahead.

Mr Trump then said from the White House that a "maximum pressure campaign" of economic sanctions and diplomatic isolation would continue against North Korea - with which the USA is technically still at war - though he added that it was possible the summit could still take place at some point.

Trump had rattled the region on Thursday by cancelling his meeting with Kim which had been due to take place in Singapore on June 12 citing "open hostility" from Pyongyang.

But on Friday night, Trump tweeted that "very productive talks" about reinstating the summit were underway, and he said that June 12 could still be the date for such a meeting. "We'd like to do it".

It would have been the first time a sitting USA president met a North Korean leader.

Joel Wit, founder of the respected 38 North website that monitors North Korea, said Kim's hand has been strengthened regardless of whether the summit goes ahead because recent weeks have seen him forge connections with Chinese President Xi Jinping, as well as with Russian Federation and South Korea.

A photo released by the South Korean presidential office showed Moon and Kim hugging at the conclusion of their discussions. "The U.S. summit should have this objective, but Moon will fall back on the Panmunjom process if necessary", Mount said, referring to the inter-Korean agreement signed April 27.

In his letter to Kim, Trump objected specifically to a statement from senior North Korean diplomat Choe Son Hui. It came as a complete surprise: The two leaders had not been expected to meet again until the autumn.

But despite initial concerns of a total breakdown in the dialogue with Pyongyang, officials in the US and North Korea have appeared relatively optimistic that a meeting is still possible.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin held out hope the talks would eventually take place. This comes after President Trump made a decision to scrap the summit, claiming North Korea was recently acting with anger and open hostility.

Trump's announcement came one day after he announced he was canceling the meeting.

The summit planned for Singapore would have been the first time a sitting USA president had met a North Korean leader.

It's been a tempestuous few days that have left close US ally and summit-matchmaker South Korea "perplexed"; North Korea's traditional ally China indignant that Trump was blaming it for changing Kim's hardening attitude; and officials in Trump's own administration struggling to stay up to speed with developments.

That planned summit with North Korea: dead & buried, right? Today's meeting was only the fourth ever inter-Korean summit, following 2000, 2007 and April events.

White House sends an advance team to Singapore to work on logistics for a possible United States-North Korea summit.

Moon said Trump's decision left him "perplexed" and was 'very regrettable'.

US State Department spokeswoman Katina Adams declined to give details of any diplomatic contacts but said: "As the president said in his letter to Chairman Kim, dialogue between the two is the only dialogue that matters".

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