Trump, Kim signal fresh hopes for derailed North Korea summit
June 23 2018, 04:45 | Irvin Gilbert
Over the last few days a race was building up to see which side would call off the meet first
Mr Kim believes a summit with Mr Trump will be a landmark opportunity to end decades of confrontation, South Korea's President Moon Jae-in said on Sunday following his surprise meeting with the North Korean leader.
"We simply couldn't get them to pick up the phone", a White House senior official told reporters Thursday.
"Our government will do its part in carrying out the Panmunjom Declaration", Cho told reporters, referring to the agreement President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reached during their April 27 meeting.
Moon said on Sunday: "Our journey to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and a permanent peace agreement can not be stopped, and we have chose to cooperate closely".
Kim also "expressed his fixed will on the historic DPRK-US summit talks", KCNA added, using the official abbreviation for North Korea.
"I believe this is a tremendous setback for North Korea and, indeed, a setback for the world", Trump said in his letter to North Korean officials cancelling the summit.
Moon, who returned to Seoul on Thursday morning after meeting Trump in Washington in a bid to keep the high-stakes U.S.
The North's state-run KCNA news agency said the two leaders agreed to "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".
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At their meeting, Moon and Kim also agreed to have their top officials meet again June 1 and to set up separate talks between their top generals and Red Cross officials to discuss how to ease military tensions and resume reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War. The South Korean leader said he hopes the proposed trilateral meeting takes place after a successful summit in Singapore.
Despite repeated references to "denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula" by the North, it remains unclear whether Kim will ever agree to fully abandon his nuclear arsenal.
The Trump administration has demanded North Korea completely and irreversibly shutter its nuclear weapons programme. Washington has made it clear it wants to see the "complete, verifiable and irreversible denuclearisation" of the North.
He praised Kim for announcing a moratorium on nuclear and missile tests, as well as the closing of the country's nuclear test site this week.
The Korean leaders' second summit in a month on Saturday saw bear hugs and broad smiles, but their quickly arranged meeting appears to highlight a sense of urgency on both sides of the world's most heavily armed border.
Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon said Friday that the government will do its part to faithfully implement the agreement reached by the leaders of the two Koreas last month, despite the US decision to cancel the highly anticipated summit with the North.
But even though he was confident of Kim's intentions, Moon admitted that difficulties likely lie ahead. Moon said Trump's decision left him "perplexed" and was "very regrettable".