"We have inwardly highly appreciated President Trump for having made the bold decision, which any other USA presidents dared not, and made efforts for such a crucial event as the summit", Kim Kye Gwan's statement said. President Trump told reporters that they are still considering Singapore as the venue for their talks.
Trump said on Saturday he was still looking at a June 12 date for a summit in Singapore and that talks were progressing very well. North Korea has said it did so because it had achieved its nuclear arms ambitions and wanted now to focus on economic development in the poor, isolated country.
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.
"While Washington and Pyongyang have expressed their hopes for a summit through published statements, Moon has to step up as the mediator because the surest way to set the meeting in stone would be an official confirmation of intent between heads of states", Hong said. So we're looking at June 12th in Singapore.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in speaks during a news conference at the Presidential Blue House in Seoul, South Korea, May 27, 2018.
China, South Korea and the United States all back denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, but differ on how to make that happen.
Kim reaffirmed his commitment to "complete" denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and to a planned meeting with Trump, Moon told a news conference in Seoul.
South Korea was caught off guard by Trump's abrupt cancellation of his summit with Kim, with the US president citing hostility in recent North Korean comments.
Trump cited hostile comments from top North Korean officials as his reason for scrapping the meeting, as well as concern about the country's commitment to giving up its nuclear weapons. Elected on his strong pro-engagement positions, Moon said he pressed with Kim that North Korea and the US need to keep direct communication channels open, in order to "eradicate chances for misunderstanding".
Moon, who returned to Seoul on Thursday morning after meeting Trump in Washington in an effort to keep the U.S. "Our latest summit was to eradicate any difficulties and to hold a successful North Korea-US summit". Trump then confused the global community by saying he was cancelling the talks with Kim over "tremendous anger and open hostility" in Pyongyang's statements.
A spokesman said a White House team will leave as scheduled for Singapore this weekend to prepare for the possible summit. When asked about the talks between Moon and Kim, the president replied, "the talks have gone very well".
The months-long war of words between Kim and Trump in 2017 had to do with their disagreement over North Korea's nuclear program.
President Moon maintained that Kim is committed to "complete" denuclearization, but acknowledged that Pyongyang and Washington may have differing expectations of what denuclearization means.
Relations between the two Koreas had chilled in recent weeks, with North Korea canceling a high-level meeting with Seoul over South Korea's participation in regular military exercises with the United States and insisting that it will not return to talks unless its grievances are resolved.
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