Published: Mon, May 28, 2018
Global Media | By Abel Hampton

Talks on N Korea summit 'going very well'

Talks on N Korea summit 'going very well'

The meeting is only the second between South Korea's Moon Jae-in and the North's Kim Jong-un.

In Washington, Trump administration spokeswoman Sarah Sanders confirmed that an advance team of White House and Department of State officials would leave for Singapore this weekend, as originally scheduled, to prepare for a possible summit there.

Moon and Kim agreed at a surprise second meeting on Saturday that a possible North Korea-U.S. summit, now planned for June 12 in Singapore, must be held successfully, Moon told a news conference in Seoul. You can tell by the last statement that North Korea released, which was very conciliatory in tone for North Korean standards, personally praising Trump himself.

The Singapore summit had gone through a dizzying sequence of cancellations and restarts, as the world holds its breath hoping for a chance to defuse the nuclear standoff between North Korea and the U.S.

Trump added: "We'll see what happens".

However, there was a further signal of progress Saturday as White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed a team of United States officials were leaving for Singapore "in order to prepare should the summit take place". Mr Moon said he and Mr Kim had "agreed that the 12 June summit should be held successfully".

Moon said on Sunday that Kim requested the meeting, only the fourth ever by leaders of the two countries since the Korean War.

Most analysts still thinks it is extremely unlikely that North Korea will surrender its nuclear weapons.

Trump rattled the region on Thursday by cancelling his meeting with Kim, citing "open hostility" from Pyongyang.

North Korea, which cancelled the talks earlier this month in a sign of re-emerging tensions, said the two leaders agreed to "meet frequently in the future".

"It was like an ordinary encounter between friends", he said of his Saturday meeting with Kim Jong Un.

For the moment, Moon has maintained an appearance as a neutral middleman who can bridge the gap between Trump and Kim, two reactive leaders who create a high risk of miscalculation.

"You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used", Trump wrote to Kim.

Mr. Moon said while Mr. Kim is committed to denuclearisation, North Korea is not convinced it can trust security guarantees from the United States.

After this, Bolton predicted, the Kim regime would collapse and the US would waltz in to secure North Korea's nuclear sites.

Moon's surprise meeting with Kim on Saturday shows he's willing to do what it takes to keep diplomacy on track and avoid a return to threats of war over North Korea's nuclear program.

Unlike last month's summit, which was held in front of live TV cameras, Saturday's meeting took place in utmost secrecy, with reporters only told later that the face-to-face had taken place.

Mr. Moon is the only South Korean leader to have met a North Korean leader twice, both times in the DMZ, which is a symbol of the unending hostilities between the nations after the Korean War ended in 1953 in a truce, not a peace treaty.

In previous, failed talks, North Korea said it could consider giving up its arsenal if Washington removed its troops from South Korea and withdrew its so-called nuclear umbrella of deterrence from South Korea and Japan.

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