South Korea 'Trying to Make Sense of' Trump's North Korean Summit Cancellation


Unlike the previous summit in April, which had been planned in advance and included ceremonial elements and press facilities for some 3,000 journalists from across the world, today's summit took place with no forewarning.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a surprise second meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un on Saturday, the presidential office said, in an apparent move to convince Kim to hold his scheduled summit with US President Donald Trump.

In a letter to Kim on Thursday, Trump had said he was cancelling the planned Singapore summit, citing North Korea's "open hostility".

President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump appears to confirm deal on Chinese firm ZTE Judge rejects Manafort's attempt to throw out some charges Dem: Trump's policy of separating children, parents at border "would shock Jesus" MORE and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are locked in an worldwide public relations battle after Trump cancelled their planned summit. "We're talking to them now", Trump said of the North Koreans.

Trump said in a Twitter post late on Friday, "We are having very productive talks about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, June 12th., and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date".

In their first summit in April, Mr. Kim and Mr. Moon announced vague aspirations for a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula and permanent peace, which Seoul has tried to sell as a meaningful breakthrough to set up the summit with Mr. Trump. "Kim's main concern is that he needs to be able to have trust that the USA will surely ensure regime guarantee after they completely denuclearize", Moon told reporters at the Blue House in a press conference broadcast live Sunday morning.

"We will neither beg the USA for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us", she said.

American officials are sceptical that Kim will ever fully abandon his nuclear arsenal, and Moon said North Korea is not yet convinced it can trust security guarantees from the United States.

President Moon's spokesman said there had been a "candid" exchange of views in the two hours of talks between the two leaders.

President Donald Trump waves while walking away after speaking to the media, as he walks to the Marine One helicopter on Friday.

The group did not supplant the State Department's traditional mode of communication with the North, which is known as the "New York Channel" and involves USA diplomats and their North Korean counterparts posted to the United Nations.

The US is demanding that North Korea completely end its nuclear weapons programme.

President Moon Jae-in had earlier said he was "very perplexed" and that it was "very regrettable" that the summit was not going ahead.

"It is best to treat this all like a reality TV show", Vipin Narang, a North Korea expert and professor of worldwide relations at MIT, wrote Friday on Twitter.

He was not informed of the decision before Mr Trump's announcement, reports said.

"They shared the opinion that they would meet frequently in the future to make dialogue brisk and pool wisdom and efforts, expressing their stand to make joint efforts for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", KCNA said.