SEOUL-South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a surprise meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Saturday, May 26, to ensure a summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump goes off successfully, South Korean officials said.
White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said a team of White House and US State Department officials would leave for Singapore on schedule this weekend for the planned 12 June summit.
The meeting was the latest dramatic turn in a week of diplomatic ups and downs surrounding the prospects for an unprecedented summit between the U.S. and North Korea, and the strongest sign yet that the two Korean leaders are trying to keep the on-again off-again meeting on track.
A statement from North Korea's state news agency KCNA said Kim expressed "his fixed will" on the possibility of meeting Trump as previously planned. Moon was expected on Sunday to reveal the outcome of the meeting.
In a letter sent to the North Korean dictator on Thursday, Mr Trump said the meeting on June 12 would be called off "based on tremendous anger and open hostility" shown by Pyongyang.
This comes after President Trump made a decision to scrap the summit, claiming North Korea was recently acting with anger and open hostility.
The tweet comes after the historic summit was called into question when Mr Trump pulled out on Thursday after talks deteriorated.
Trump views the meeting as a legacy-defining opportunity and has relished the press attention and the speculation about a possible Nobel Peace Prize.
There were a series of "broken promises" from Pyongyang, the official told reporters, including when the White House sent the deputy chief of staff to Singapore to meet North Korean diplomats ahead of the summit.
In his letter, Trump responded in kind, referencing US nuclear capabilities "so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used".
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"I seriously doubt whether we're going to get back here anywhere in the near future and maybe not even in this term of this president", Wit said, adding later, "I guess anything's possible". He characterised the recent back-and-forth as the "usual give and take".
A senior administration official in the USA later gave further details, saying North Korea had shown "a profound lack of good faith".
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.
The group did not supplant the State Department's traditional mode of communication with the North, which is known as the "New York Channel" and involves USA diplomats and their North Korean counterparts posted to the United Nations.
It was unclear if Pompeo, who has traveled twice to Pyongyang for meetings with Kim, would continue to play a role in the negotiations.
Notably, the statement did not appear in Saturday's edition of Rodong Sinmun, the official mouthpiece of the North's ruling party that's widely read by North Koreans.
Trump said US and North Korean officials are engaged in talks aimed at reviving plans for the summit.
South Korea and the United States should work together to stop Kim from separating the diplomatic tracks and being able to "triangulate between the allies", Mount said.
He said, "The best way to prevent war is to be fully prepared for war".