- The Washington Times - Saturday, May 26, 2018

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held a surprise meeting Saturday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in to discuss salvaging the canceled June 12 summit between Mr. Kim and President Trump, Mr. Moon’s office said.

The two leaders met for two hours on the North Korean side of the “truce village” of Panmunjom inside the Demilitarized Zone between the two Koreas, said Mr. Moon’s spokesman, Yoon Young-chan.

They “had a frank exchange of views on the implementation of the April 27 summit agreement and for the successful holding of the North Korea-United States summit,” Mr. Yoon said.

Mr. Moon and Mr. Kim had held their own first-ever meeting in the DMZ on April 27.

The surprise meeting Saturday came roughly 12 hours after Mr. Trump tweeted Friday night that the U.S. was again having “very productive talks” with North Korean officials that could lead to a resumption of the June 12 summit in Singapore.

On Thursday, Mr. Trump had canceled the summit, citing “open hostility” from North Korea directed at the U.S. The suspended talks were to be aimed at persuading North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons and missile programs.

Harry Kazianis, director of Defense Studies at the Center for the National Interest in Washington, said the Kim-Moon meeting on Saturday raises “a very strong possibility a U.S.-North Korea summit could be back on very soon.”

“Moon is most likely acting as a bridge to both sides—and could very well save the summit,” Mr. Kazianis said.

But he said the central question for a U.S.-North Korea summit is still in doubt.

“Is North Korea willing to give up its nuclear weapons or not? If yes, then there will be a summit—and history could be made. If the answer is no, then President Trump will not meet Kim—and tensions could spike dramatically,” Mr. Kazianis said.

• Dave Boyer can be reached at dboyer@washingtontimes.com.

Copyright © 2023 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.

Please read our comment policy before commenting.

Click to Read More and View Comments

Click to Hide