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Kim Jong Un, Moon Jae In meet again for talks: South Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae In and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held a surprise meeting on Saturday at the truce village of Panmunjeom, speaking face-to-face for the second time of how to bring peace to the region, Moon’s office said.

The two leaders met for two hours, according to the office, just days after U.S. President Donald Trump cancelled his planned June 12 meeting with Kim in Singapore.

(Moon Jae In, 2nd from left, and Kim Jong Un, right, meet at Panmunjeom on Saturday)
[Photo courtesy of South Korea’s presidential office]

Moon and Kim held talks at the truce village inside the demilitarized zone from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. and “candidly” discussed ways to implement their declaration at their historic first meeting on April 27, and how to have a “successful” North Korea-U.S. summit, it said.

At their first meeting, Moon and Kim agreed to pursue “complete” denuclearization on the Korean Peninsula and to work toward a formal end to the 1950-1953 Korean War.

The South Korean presidential office said Moon will announce the outcome of his second meeting with Kim on Sunday at 10 a.m.

The April 27 meeting between Moon and Kim was the first inter-Korean summit in over a decade — and only the third ever. The two countries’ leaders had held direct talks only twice before, in 2000 and 2007.

Moon also had served as a broker between Pyongyang and Washington in talks over a potential Kim-Trump summit, resulting in plans for the first ever meeting — in Singapore on June 12 — between a serving U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

But on Thursday, just two days after meeting with Moon in Washington, Trump abruptly canceled the summit with Kim, a decision that came as a shock — and possibly even bigger disappointment — to the South Korean leader.

After Trump’s announcement, Moon said, “I am very perplexed and it is very regrettable.”

(Kim and Moon hug each other at Panmunjeom on Saturday)
[Photo courtesy of South Korea’s presidential office]

Trump, in his letter to Kim, said “tremendous anger and open hostility” of North Korea’s recent remarks made him think that it is not appropriate to hold talks with Kim at this time.

But Trump suggested Friday that his planned meeting with Kim could still happen on June 12.

“We’ll see what happens. It could even be the 12th,” Trump told reporters at the White House. “We’re talking to them now. They very much want to do it. We’d like to do it.”

All – Kyodo News+

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