May 22: South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Trump met in Washington.
On Thursday, Trump abruptly cancelled the proposed summit meeting with the North Korean leader on June 12 in Singapore and blamed Pyongyang's "tremendous anger" and "open hostility" for his dramatic decision. 'I think there's a lot of good will, ' he said.
His remarks came after the surprise meeting between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the demilitarized zone on Saturday during which the two leaders discussed the summit meeting with the US. -North Korean summit that he sees as the best way to ease animosity that had some fearing a war previous year.
Whether they can bridge that gap in the coming weeks may decide whether Trump and Kim will meet face-to-face. "I just want to mention we're doing very well in terms of the summit with North Korea". Most people here seem confounded by President Trump's actions.
South Korea is reviewing ways to address North Korea's security concerns, including turning the current armistice into a peace agreement, a senior Moon administration official said on Sunday. South Korea and China account for nearly all of North Korea's land borders, so their support is essential for enforcing sanctions ramped up a year ago after Kim declared the ability to strike the United States with a nuclear weapon. "S. summit must be successfully held", he said Sunday. At that meeting, they declared they would work toward a nuclear-free Korean peninsula and a formal end to the 1950-53 Korean War.
North Korean diplomat Kim Kye Gwan said Pyongyang's recent criticisms had been a reaction to unbridled American rhetoric, and that the current antagonism showed "the urgent necessity" for the summit. "It would be a great thing for South Korea, be great for Japan and great for the world - great for the United States, great for China". The North hasn't openly repeated those same demands after Kim's sudden outreach to Seoul and Washington. Moon said Sunday that the North's disarmament could be still be a hard process even if Pyongyang, Washington and Seoul don't differ over what "complete denuclearization" of the peninsula means.
The Post said the meetings about Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program are also slated for Monday and Tuesday.
Some U.S. officials have talked about a comprehensive one-shot deal in which North Korea fully eliminates its nukes first and receives rewards later.
Before he canceled the summit, Trump this past week did not rule out an incremental approach that would provide incentives along the way to the North.
Following an unusually provocative 2017 in which his engineers tested a purported thermonuclear warhead and three long-range missiles theoretically capable of striking mainland US cities, Kim has engaged in a flurry of diplomatic activity in recent months. However, the following day, the USA president indicated that he might yet meet the North Korean leader as scheduled or postpone the summit.
Moon was accompanied by his spy chief, Suh Hoon, while Kim was joined by Kim Yong Chol, a former military intelligence chief who is now a vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party's Central Committee tasked with inter-Korean relations. Moon called the gathering a meaningful attempt to clear up "some difficulties in communication" as the two leaders shared warm words on the northern side of their border. KCNA reported that Kim had expressed "his fixed will" on the possibility of meeting Trump at the June summit.
But even though he was confident of Kim's intentions, Moon admitted that difficulties likely lie ahead. When asked about the talks between Moon and Kim, the president replied, "the talks have gone very well".
"In Trump's thinking, his "maximum pressure" would've resulted in Kim kneeling and returning to dialogue in surrender anyway if it reached the boiling point", he said.