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US officials in North Korea to prepare for USA summit

27 May 2018

But North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the demilitarized zone on Saturday in an effort to maintain good relations between their two nations and discuss the possible summit with the US, in a meeting that was kept secret until after it happened.

The decision to cancel the summit was quickly met with a diplomatic response from North Korea's Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan, who said in a statement on KCNA the North is willing to talk to resolve issues "anytime and in any format".

President Moon Jae-in hosted a press briefing at 10 a.m. Sunday to announce the outcome of his second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Saturday.

Apparently, the president's comments came after North Korea said it was still willing to engage in direct talks, calling the planned summit between Trump and Kim "desperately necessary".

"The two heads of state had a frank exchange of views on the implementation of the April 27 summit agreement and for the successful holding of the North Korea-United States summit", a spokesman for Moon said in a statement to reporters. The two signed the three-page document at their first meeting in April, stating that "South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula", officials said Saturday.

The highly anticipated summit between President Trump and Chairman Kim Jong-un in June will have been a golden opportunity to avert nuclear standoff and provide the much-needed peace and stability in a highly vulnerable region of the world.

Moon said he "wholeheartedly accepted" Kim's request to talk in person, and underscored the significance of the two leaders recognizing their need for communication and swiftly arranging a meeting without formalities.

- Kim remains doubtful of the USA promise for security guarantee following denuclearization. Trump cited North Korean hostility in cancelling the summit.

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- The two leaders agree to hold high-level inter-Korean talks on June 1.

Moon, who has been a mediator between Trump and Kim, called an emergency meeting in the middle of the night Thursday after Trump called off the June summit in a letter to Kim.

"There is no reason why we should fight each other - we are one nation", Kim said in a joint statement with Moon after that meeting.

The Russian president said Friday that "a full denuclearization of North Korea" should involve giving "North Korea a guarantee of their sovereignty and inviolability".

The North Korean government on Friday said it is still "willing to give the US time and opportunities" to reconsider talks "at any time, at any format".

"We are talking to them now", he told reporters in Washington earlier Friday, saying the summit might proceed and "it could even be the 12th". Later, Kim Jong-Un assembled the party's military commission or the first time in two years.

"We reiterate to the United States that there is a willingness to sit down at any time, in any way, to solve the problem", said a top official at the North Korean Foreign Ministry.

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US officials in North Korea to prepare for USA summit