Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Global News | By Stacy Ballard

With US talks in limbo, Korean leaders hold surprise summit

With US talks in limbo, Korean leaders hold surprise summit

President Trump said Saturday that talks for a summit with North Korea were "doing very well", as he continued to fuel optimism that the meeting in Singapore to discuss denuclearizing the Korean peninsula was back on track. He expressed frustration immediately afterward, calling the move "very regrettable".

Seoul already was looking at ways to relax economic pressure on Pyongyang, although a senior South Korean official said, "We can't and won't do anything that may loosen sanctions on our own, breaking away from the worldwide community".

The Washington Post on Sunday reported that several officials, including former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea Sung Kim, traveled to North Korea.

When Moon was asked whether Kim supported the USA definition of denuclearization - which is an irreversible, verifiable giving-up of nuclear arms - Moon said that's up to Washington and Pyongyang to work out.

The talks between the two Korean leaders was the latest dramatic turn in a week of diplomatic ups and downs surrounding the prospects for an unprecedented summit between the United States and North Korea.

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Moon says his meeting with Kim was arranged at Kim's request.

After his surprise summit on Saturday with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, South Korean President Moon Jae-in told a news conference that Kim had reaffirmed his commitment to the denuclearization of the peninsula, and that both Koreas hoped that a North Korea-US summit will take place.

A White House team will leave as scheduled for Singapore this weekend to prepare for the possible summit, a White House spokeswoman said on Saturday. Korea summit an opportunity to make substantial progress on North Korea's nuclear, missile and abduction issues.

The US-South Korea alliance could take a hit if Moon intentionally exaggerated Kim's commitment to denuclearisation, according to Namkoong, who also teaches inter-Korean politics at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies. Moon sidestepped a question Sunday on whether Kim clearly mentioned if he would agree to the United States demand for complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation, saying that the two sides would need to discuss it at working-level talks.

Their talks at the Panmunjom border village, which South Korean officials said lasted two hours, came after their April 27 meeting, the first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade that was also held at the same venue.

North And South Korean Leaders Hold Surprise Meeting
The reason he did so was the fact that North Korea was displeased with military training conducted by the USA and South Korea. In the latest talks, the leaders of the two Koreas agreed to hold talks whenever necessary, Moon told the press conference.

Kim may see the sit-down with President Trump as necessary to easing pressure from crushing sanctions and to winning security assurances in a region surrounded by enemies.

May 22: South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Trump met in Washington. President Trump told reporters that they are still considering Singapore as the venue for their talks. "I urge North Korea and the confirm each other's will by sharing their problems with each other and communicating directly". But Moon said Sunday that he and Kim chose to meet again, rather than have a telephone conversation, as their aides suggested "candid" face-to-face talks between the leaders.

They agreed to have their top officials meet again June 1.

The South Korean president called on both sides to hold working-level talks that may help resolve these differences.

"The two sides are still very wide apart on what they feel denuclearization is", Klingner said.

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