Moon reiterates NK leader has 'firm will' for denuclearization

Moon reiterates NK leader has 'firm will' for denuclearization

Moon reiterates NK leader has 'firm will' for denuclearization

South Korea was caught off guard by Trump's abrupt cancellation of his summit with Kim, with the USA president citing hostility in recent North Korean comments.

Kim, in a telling line from a dispatch issued by the North's state-run news service earlier Sunday, "expressed his fixed will on the historic (North Korea)-US summit talks".

According to Jenny Town, Kim Jong-un's reported second summit with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in in the "truce village" of Panmunjom comes as a surprise amid uncertainty surrounding the Kim-Trump meeting.

Trump responded to reporters' questions about the summit saying that it was "moving along very nicely". North Korea's push to get the summit back on track shows that it's probably looking for sanctions relief, even as Kim retains concerns about his own security.

The meeting came hours after South Korea expressed relief over revived talks for a summit between Trump and Kim. During Saturday's inter-Korean summit, the Korean leaders agreed to "positively cooperate with each other as ever to improve (North Korea)-US relations and establish (a) mechanism for permanent and durable peace".

While maintaining that Mr. Kim is commited to denuclearisation, Mr. Moon acknowledged Pyongyang and Washington may have differing expectations of what that means, and he urged both sides to hold working-level talks to resolve their differences.

However, there was a further signal of progress Saturday as White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed a team of USA officials were leaving for Singapore "in order to prepare should the summit take place". When asked about the talks between Moon and Kim, the president replied, "the talks have gone very well".

But after a magnanimous statement from North Korea on Friday, which said Kim still hoped to meet Trump "at any time", the summit appears on again.

(LEAD) South Korea vows to faithfully implement summit agreement with NK

North Korea responded to Trump's letter as well, in a surprising way, calling it "unexpected" and "extremely regrettable", and saying Pyongyang was willing "to sit face to face at any time".

South Korea's President Moon Jae-in speaks during a news conference at the presidential Blue House in Seoul on Sunday.

In a tweet, Trump the summit was "likely" to happen as scheduled June 12.

A United States official said Sung Kim, the former USA ambassador to South Korea, would lead an American delegation to meet North Korean officials at the border.

"Let's be realistic. These summits take months not weeks to prepare", he said. "And I don't know if it's going to be June 12, but I think it's going to happen", she said. Earlier this week, in Washington, President Moon said he anticipates the resumption of inter-Korean talks after the Max Thunder air exercises end Friday.

The meeting would be the culmination of diplomatic efforts that began this year to try to defuse what had threatened to become a military confrontation between the nuclear-armed communist North and the South and its USA ally.

Mr Kim has indicated he wants a phased approach, with his steps met by reciprocal ones from the USA and the South - mainly on sanctions but also easing of the USA military presence in South Korea.

Former US ambassador to South Korea, Sung Kim, crossed into North Korea on Sunday to hold talks with Pyongyang's Vice-Foreign Minister, Choe Son Hui, a source familiar with the matter told the paper.

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