Three days after it was called off, the Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un meeting set for June 12 is now on again. South Korean President Moon Jae-in may possibly be joining the two leaders at the summit.
On Saturday, May 26, the leaders of North and South Korea met again at the truce village in Panmunjom to discuss the US-North Korea summit, and on the following day, officials from both the United States and North Korea met there to continue talking about the widely-anticipated summit next month.
Talks resumed after diplomatic preparations, mostly from South Korea, brought the summit to the table once more, after President Trump had announced late last week that the summit had been cancelled, citing North Korea’s “open hostility” as the reason.
By the weekend, Mr. Trump was singing a different tune, tweeting, “I truly believe North Korea has brilliant potential and will be a great economic and financial Nation one day.” The US President confirmed that a team of US officials was indeed in Korea to arrange the details of the summit.
The leaders of North and South Korea had discussed a three-way summit on April 27 at their first meeting in Panmunjom. Mr. Moon brought this up again last weekend, and told the press, “Should the North Korea-US summit succeed, I would like to see efforts to formally end the (Korean) war through a three-way summit of the South, the North and the US.”
Meanwhile, in the US, the White House announced that a pre-advance group was already on its way to Singapore for preparation of logistics for the summit on May 27.
The South Korean news agency, Yonhap, clarified that the official who would be representing North Korea is Kim Chang Son, Kim Jong Un’s acting chief-of-staff.
Kim Chang Son heads the team from North Korea for the discussion on the summit’s security and logistics issues. It is expected that Mr. Kim would make a short stop at Beijing before heading to Korea on Monday, May 28th. Experts believe that Mr. Kim would meet with China’s President, Xi Jinping.
In a meeting with senior secretaries, Mr. Moon announced that more unplanned discussions would occur between North and South Korea. “What’s more important than anything from the latest inter-Korean summit was that the leaders easily got in contact, easily made an appointment and easily met to discuss urgent matters, without complicated procedures and formalities, just like a casual meeting.”
The South Korean leader is optimistic that relations with North Korea will continue to improve, saying, “If we could hold working-level, back-to-back talks on both sides of Panmunjom if urgently necessary in addition to formal summits, it would expedite advancement of inter-Korean relations.”
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