N. Korea denuclearisation summit back on track; ‘moving nicely’ Trump says

Historic talks between Donald Trump and his North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un appear to be back on again after the US President said plans for the June 12 Summit in Singapore were ‘moving nicely’ just days after calling it off, tells us.

The meeting looked to be dead in the water after Mr Trump called it off last week but he has now indicated preparations are continuing behind the scenes.

He said: “We’re doing very well in terms of the summit with North Korea.

“It’s moving along very nicely. So we’re looking at June 12th in Singapore. That hasn’t changed. So, we’ll see what happens.”

Kim reaffirmed his commitment to “complete” denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and to the planned summit when he held surprise talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Mr Moon said: “Chairman Kim and I have agreed that the June 12 summit should be held successfully, and that our quest for the Korean peninsula’s denuclearisation and a perpetual peace regime should not be halted.”

The talks between the two Korean leaders was the latest dramatic turn in a week of diplomatic ups and downs surrounding the prospects for an unprecedented summit between the United States and North Korea.

A statement from North Korea’s state news agency KCNA said Kim expressed “his fixed will” on the possibility of meeting Mr Trump as previously planned.

Mr Moon, who returned to Seoul on Thursday morning after meeting Mr Trump in Washington in a bid to keep the high-stakes US-North Korea summit on track, said he delivered a message of the US President’s “firm resolve” to end the hostile relationship with North Korea and pursue bilateral economic cooperation.

Mr Trump said in a letter to Kim on Thursday he was cancelling the planned Singapore summit, citing North Korea’s “open hostility”.

A spokesman said a White House team will leave as scheduled for Singapore this weekend to prepare for the possible summit.

The Trump administration has demanded that North Korea completely and irreversibly shut its nuclear weapons programme.

US officials are sceptical that Kim will ever fully abandon his nuclear arsenal and Mr Moon said North Korea is not yet convinced it can trust security guarantees from Washington.

Mr Moon acknowledged Pyongyang and Washington may have differing expectations of what that means and he urged both sides to hold working-level talks to resolve their differences.

He said: “Even though they share the same resolve, there need to be discussions regarding the roadmap for how to make it happen, and that process could be tough.”

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