Surprise! Kim and Moon meet and even Trump is hopeful again

Donald Trump says US North Korea summit ‘could’ happen on 12 June

For weeks now - ever since TV pictures of a charming-looking Kim Jong-un captivated South Koreans - people have flocked to observation posts like the one at Odusan to peer, curiously, into North Korea.

The two leaders held their meeting on the Northern side of the truce village of Panmunjom, inside the DMZ.

President Moon has worked assiduously to coax Trump and Kim to meet at the negotiating table given the reality that inter-Korean reconciliation, and ultimately peace on the Korean Peninsula, can not be achieved unless the United States and North Korea strike a deal on denuclearization.

Preparations for Donald Trump's summit with North Korea's Kim Jong Un are back on, following a meeting today (May 26) between Kim and South Korea's Moon Jae-in.

North and South Korea's leaders held surprise talks on Saturday to get a historic summit between Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump back on track after a head-spinning series of twists and turns.

The two sides continue to play hot and cold on the proposed meeting between their leaders, but President Trump himself indicated on Friday that they had reengaged in talks after they had broken down over what Pyongyang saw as threatening tone and posture from Washington ahead of the proposed June 12 date in Singapore.

In a letter to Kim announcing the cancellation, Trump objected specifically to a statement from senior North Korean diplomat Choe Son Hui. The meeting could reduce Seoul's credibility as a US -allied middleman in the talks if the details weren't shared or if Moon strayed from Washington's position, he said.

"The ball is in North Korea's court right now, and there's really not a lot of time. We will see what happens", Trump told reporters in response to another question.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, South Carolina Republican, said he spoke with Mr. Trump on Thursday, and the president feels as if North Korea was trying to manipulate him.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Thursday that North Korean officials had stopped communicating with US officials in recent days.

Diplomatic observers earlier said cancelling the summit would increase the risk of confrontation over the Korean peninsula and push Pyongyang closer to Beijing, while the United States would become more suspicious of how China managed its relations with the North.

Dozens of worldwide journalists left North Korea on Saturday after observing the demolition of the underground tunnels in Punggye-ri, where all of the North's six nuclear tests were conducted including its latest and largest in September.

Trump, speaking Friday to graduates at the U.S. Naval Academy, did not mention North Korea directly, but he stressed the United States' military might. The foreign official, in a dramatic break with the diplomatic tenure of prior talks with USA officials, said that if talks were canceled, the two countries could instead engage in a "nuclear-to-nuclear showdown".

"Instead, journalists were invited and we will not have forensic evidence that much was accomplished", the official said.

Pyongyang on Friday said in a statement that it is still willing to "sit with the USA side" for talks "at any time".

It comes after Trump appeared to raise hope that the cancelled plans for a summit in Singapore on June 12 could be pulled from the fire.

Add another twist to a topsy-turvy week of diplomacy with North Korea. Photos showed that Kim's sister, Yo-jong, widely believed to be a key player in her brother's inner circle, was also present. "We will see what happens", he said.

But despite the will on all sides for the summit to go forward, a fundamental gap exists between the United States' and North Korea's respective roadmaps to denuclearization.

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