Published: Sun, May 27, 2018
Money | By Armando Alvarado

North and South Korean leaders hold surprise 2nd summit

North and South Korean leaders hold surprise 2nd summit

The two Korean leaders on Saturday met for an impromptu summit at North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's request, South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced Sunday.

The weekend meetings were the latest dramatic turn in a week of diplomatic ups and downs over the prospects for an unprecedented summit between the United States and North Korea, and the strongest sign yet that the leaders of the two Koreas are trying to keep the meeting on track.

Only last month the two leaders met in the same village, with Kim famously inviting Moon to step briefly into the North before they both held talks in a building on the South's side. -North Korea summit a success, the presidential Blue House said.

It follows a whirlwind 24 hours which saw Mr Trump cancel his highly anticipated meeting with the North Korean leader, which was due to take place on 12 June. The two signed the three-page agreement at their earlier meeting, stating that "South and North Korea confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula", officials said Saturday.

Photos of Kim and Moon embracing and shaking hands also appeared on the Sunday front page of state-run newspaper Rodong Sinmun.

- Moon hopes to hold a three-way meeting after a successful Trump-Kim summit to formally end the Korean War.

- Kim remains doubtful of the US promise for security guarantee following denuclearization.

Eager for a bold accomplishment, Trump agreed to Kim's March overture for a summit in less than an hour, ignoring warnings of seasoned advisers.

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".

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Trump abruptly canceled the planned summit in a letter to Kim on Thursday - and then pivoted a day later.

Protesters rally to denounce the United States' policies against North Korea near the US embassy in Seoul, South Korea, Friday, May 25, 2018.

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 denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula", Yonhap said, citing the Korean Central News Agency.

However, on Saturday, the two leaders spoke face to face. "The world, and North Korea in particular, has lost a great opportunity for lasting peace and great prosperity and wealth".

Comments in North Korea's state media indicate Kim sees any meeting with Trump as an arms control negotiation between nuclear states, rather than a process to surrender his nukes.

Reuters reported earlier this week the team was scheduled to discuss the agenda and logistics for the summit with North Korean officials.

Once he arrived, he shook hands with Kim Yo Jong and walked down a red carpet as members of the North Korean military saluted.

USA officials said the final straw for Trump came when a North Korean Foreign Ministry official called Vice President Mike Pence a "political dummy" and hinted that Pyongyang was ready for a "nuclear showdown" should diplomacy fail.

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