Korean leaders trying to salvage Trump-Kim summit, says US media

The leaders met days after Trump abruptly cancelled the summit with the North Korean leader on June 12  and blamed Pyongyang's 'tremendous anger' and 'open hostility'.

Published: 27th May 2018 12:56 PM  |   Last Updated: 27th May 2018 12:56 PM   |  A+A-

A man watches a TV screen showing file footage of Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un. | AP


WASHINGTON: As South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a surprise two-hour meeting, the mainstream US media said that the two leaders are trying to salvage the June 12 Singapore summit that was abruptly cancelled by President Donald Trump.

Moon and Kim met yesterday in the Panmunjom village of the demilitarized zone.

This was the second meeting between the two leaders in less than a month and the fourth ever between the leaders of the two countries.

They met two days after Trump abruptly cancelled the summit with the North Korean leader on June 12 in Singapore and blamed Pyongyang's "tremendous anger" and "open hostility" for his dramatic decision.

"The rapidly arranged meeting between the two countries reflects how urgently the two leaders are trying to salvage the US-North Korea summit, originally scheduled for June 12 in Singapore," The Washington Post said.

The meeting is "the latest attempt by the two Korean leaders to keep recent engagement efforts on track," The Wall Street Journal said.

After the meeting, Moon today said in Seoul that Kim had reaffirmed his commitment to the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula.

According to him, Kim looks forward to meeting Trump on June 12.

"The measured response to the cancellation, and the extraordinary diplomatic scramble that followed, was a strong reminder, analysts said, that Kim not only wants a diplomatic deal with the United States.

He may need one," The New York Times said.

"North Korea can still survive under sanctions, especially if China helps it," Shin Beom-chul, a senior fellow at the Asan Institute for Policy Studies in Seoul, told the daily.

"But as long as sanctions are there, Kim Jong-un can never deliver the kind of rapid economic growth he has promised for his people," he was quoted as saying.

Yesterday's summit showed that Kim and Moon are "both eager to keep the diplomatic momentum going despite recent setbacks", Markus Bell, a lecturer in Korean and Japanese studies at the University of Sheffield in the UK, was quoted as saying by The Wall Street Journal.

"Donald Trump has been flip-flopping on whether he's going to get involved and move forward on a summit, and he's given the window for North Korea to look like the levelheaded, rational actor," Bell was quoted as saying.

In another sign that the summit is back again, the White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders said the White House advance team is now heading to Singapore for the preparations of the meeting.

"The White House pre-advance team for Singapore will leave as scheduled in order to prepare should the summit take place," she said.

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