Seoul: North Korea committed to US summit, denuclearization

Mr Trump told reporters that they were still considering Singapore as the venue for their talks.

A TV screen shows South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border village of Panmunjom during a news program at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, May 26, 2018. "That hasn't changed. So, we'll see what happens". Kim may see the sit-down with Trump as necessary to easing pressure from crushing sanctions and to winning security assurances in a region surrounded by enemies.

North and South Korea are discussing a possible non-aggression pledge by the United States to the North and a start of peace treaty talks to address Pyongyang's security concerns before a North Korea-U.S. summit, a senior South Korean official said on Sunday. -North Korea summit on track, said he delivered Trump's "firm will" to end the hostile relationship with North Korea and pursue bilateral economic cooperation.

He praised Kim Jong-un for taking the initiative to talk, and, comparing the latest meeting to one between friends, he said that's how it should be.

Kim reached out to Moon on Friday afternoon, just after Trump announced a personal letter to Kim cancelling a planned summit next month, to say that he "wanted to meet without formalities". "They very much want to do it".

"The White House pre-advance team for Singapore will leave as scheduled in order to prepare should the summit take place", White House press secretary Sarah Sanders said. During Saturday's inter-Korean summit, the Korean leaders agreed to "positively cooperate with each other as ever to improve (North Korea)-U.S. relations and establish (a) mechanism for permanent and durable peace".

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"Chairman Kim agreed on that", he added.

Last year, Trump and Kim were trading war threats and insults after Pyongyang tested its most powerful nuclear weapon to date and missiles it said were capable of reaching the USA mainland.

Following an unusually provocative 2017 in which his engineers tested a purported thermonuclear warhead and three long-range missiles theoretically capable of striking mainland United States cities, Kim has engaged in a flurry of diplomatic activity in recent months.

The leaders of North and South Korea have met in the demilitarised border area between the two countries.

But even though he was confident of Kim's intentions, Moon admitted that difficulties likely lie ahead.

But the USA president, after his surprise press announcement on Thursday that he was calling off the summit, said on Friday that he was still open to the idea of meeting Kim. A top North Korean official later blasted the comments as "unlawful and outrageous". At that meeting, they declared they would work toward a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

  • Sonia Alvarado