North And South Korean Leaders Hold Surprise Meeting

by Abel Hampton May 28, 2018, 1:17
North And South Korean Leaders Hold Surprise Meeting

But despite the renewed momentum for the summit, some experts remain skeptical of Trump's high-stakes attempts at deal-making with the North Koreans.

On Thursday, Trump called off the long-anticipated summit, accusing North Korea of "tremendous anger and open hostility" in an official letter to Kim Jong-un.

Following the meeting, US President Donald Trump said that he would hold a summit with the North Korean leader in "the coming weeks". The recent statements also made clear Pyongyang would not accept the United States' demands for its "unilateral" denuclearization.

At that meeting - held south of the border - it was agreed that North and South Korea would work towards ridding the Korean peninsula of nuclear weapons and formally ending the 1950-53 Korean war.

A day later, though, both sides returned to a more conciliatory tone.

Pyongyang on Friday said in a statement that it is still willing to "sit with the US side" for talks "at any time".

Later Friday, Mr Trump tweeted that the two countries were "having very productive talks".

Asked if the USA military was changing its posture, Mattis said: "We are not changing anything right now, it is steady as she goes".

President Trump and Kim Jong-Un were scheduled to meet in Singapore on June 12. "We'd like to do it".

After that, Mr. Trump expressed some hope a summit might happen - "could even be the 12th", as he told reporters outside the White House Friday morning.

Abe said he planned to hold talks with Trump over the telephone soon after returning to Japan on Sunday.

But then Trump suggested Friday that his planned meeting with Kim could still happen on June 12.

"It's like throwing a wedding together kind of overnight", he said.

Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, speaking at an economic forum in St. Petersburg, Russia, said he regretted the cancellation and said the world should keep doing its bit to make the summit happen. News of the upcoming summit has been a rollercoaster for the past three days.

But relations between the rival Koreas chilled in recent weeks, with North Korea canceling a high-level meeting with Seoul over South Korea's participation in regular military exercises with the USA and insisting that it will not return to talks unless its grievances are resolved. Mr. Kim Jong-un's comments published by the newspaper did not include any mention of his potential meeting with Mr. Trump. "A huge change, eternal peace through a complete denuclearization on the Korean peninsula".

Trump has emphasized that sanctions and "the maximum pressure campaign will continue" to be applied on North Korea while expressing hope Pyongyang's leadership would decide to join the community of nations.

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.

Mr Trump took to Twitter on Saturday to angrily dismiss media speculation that the summit, even if reinstated, could not now be held in Singapore in the existing time frame. But very quickly he floated the possibility of actually attending the summit. "So I think they've cleared gamed this out".

Mr Trump said he had been "very much looking forward" to meeting Mr Kim.


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