Talks on N Korea summit 'going very well'

South Korean President Moon Jae-in could join Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in a three-way summit aimed at denuclearising North Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae-in could join Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un in a three-way summit aimed at denuclearising North Korea

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un reiterated his commitment to the "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" and to a sit-down with U.S. President Donald Trump scheduled for next month, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Sunday, a day after his secret meeting with Kim at the border separating the two Koreas.

So with the summit in Singapore possibly back on, President Moon pledged to call or meet with his North Korean counterpart whenever necessary.

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)-U.S. summit talks".

In addition to his summits with Moon and Xi, Kim also has had two meetings with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Meanwhile, Trump spoke to reporters about the potential summit from the Oval Office on Saturday night, where he had gathered with lawmakers to celebrate the return of Utah man Joshua Holt, who had been jailed in Venezuela for almost two years and finally freed.

"South Korea summit, President Trump clearly emphasized that we may see not only the end of hostile relations but also economic cooperation if North Korea denuclearizes", Moon said.

But on Saturday, Mr. Trump said he was still looking at a June 12 date for a summit in Singapore, adding that talks were progressing very well.

Moon said on Sunday: "Our journey to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and a permanent peace agreement can not be stopped, and we have chose to cooperate closely".

It allowed Mr Moon to push for a US-North Korean summit that he sees as the best way to ease animosity that had some fearing a war a year ago.

In a letter to Mr. Kim on Thursday, Mr. Trump had said he was cancelling the planned Singapore summit, citing North Korea's "open hostility".

The planned historic summit is a dramatic turnaround from President Trump pulling out of talks last week after a war of words with Mr Kim's regime
The planned historic summit is a dramatic turnaround from President Trump pulling out of talks last week after a war of words with Mr Kim's regime

But North Korea's propaganda took a very aggressive line with the U.S. since Wednesday, threatening nuclear war and bashing Vice President Mike Pence.

In this May 26, 2018 photo provided on May 27, 2018, by South Korea Presidential Blue House via Yonhap News Agency, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, is guided by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, right, at the northern side of Panmunjom in North Korea.

However, there was a further signal of progress Saturday as White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed a team of United States officials was leaving for Singapore "in order to prepare should the summit take place".

"The thing he was uncertain about was not denuclearisation but concerns on whether he could trust that the USA would end its hostile policy and guarantee the security of his regime when the North denuclearises itself".

Tensions were calmed after Kim extended an olive branch by offering to send a delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea, sparking a rapid detente that led to Trump agreeing to hold direct talks with Pyongyang. It allowed Moon to push for a U.S. "I urge North Korea and the U.S.to confirm each other's will by sharing their problems with each other and communicating directly". At that meeting, they declared they would work toward a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

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

The official says the North also reneged on a pledge to allow global inspectors to monitor the supposed demolition of its nuclear test site Thursday.

The agency said the two leaders had reached a "satisfactory consensus" and expressed "their stand to make joint efforts for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula".

Only last month, the two leaders met in the same village, with Kim famously inviting Moon to step briefly into the North before they both held talks in a building on the South's side.

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