Trump optimistic about North Korea summit as Moon, Kim hold surprise meeting

(LEAD) South Korea vows to faithfully implement summit agreement with NK

Moon and Kim agreed at a surprise second meeting Saturday that a possible North Korea-U.S. summit, now planned for June 12 in Singapore, must be held successfully, Moon told a news conference in Seoul. "If we got that done and if we can be successful in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, it would be a great thing for North Korea, it would be a great thing for South Korea, be great for Japan and great for the world - great for the United States, great for China".

"While Washington and Pyongyang have expressed their hopes for a summit through published statements, Moon has to step up as the mediator because the surest way to set the meeting in stone would be an official confirmation of intent between heads of states", Hong said.

During his two hour meeting with Kim, Moon said he urged both Washington and Pyongyang "to remove misunderstandings through direct communication and to have sufficient dialogue in advance through working-level negotiations on the agendas to be agreed upon at the summit".

Trump pulled out of the summit on Thursday, citing Pyongyang's "tremendous anger and open hostility" - only to reverse himself Friday after North Korea said it was willing to talk "at any time".

In a text message sent to reporters, presidential chief press secretary Yoon Young-chan said the leaders of the two Koreas "candidly exchanged their opinions to implement the joint declaration of the first summit and to successfully hold the US-North Korea summit set for June 12 in Singapore".

"It's moving along very nicely".

Following a whirlwind 24 hours that saw Trump cancel the highly anticipated June 12 meeting with Kim before saying it's potentially back on, the Korean leaders took matters into their own hands.

"We are having very productive talks about reinstating the Summit which, if it does happen, will likely remain in Singapore on the same date, Jun 12, and, if necessary, will be extended beyond that date", Trump said in a Twitter post.

A White House team will leave as scheduled for Singapore this weekend to prepare for the possible summit, a White House spokeswoman said on Saturday.

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The Trump administration has demanded that North Korea completely and irreversibly shutter its nuclear weapons program. Kim and Trump's initial decision to meet followed months of war threats and insults between the leaders over the program.

Kim Yong-hyun, professor of North Korea studies at Dongguk University in Seoul, said Moon and Kim moved quickly to defuse the crisis after Trump's shock cancellation.

His remarks came nearly simultaneously with the announcement by Moon about his meeting with the North Korean leader.

It remains unclear whether Kim will ever agree to fully abandon his nuclear arsenal in return, despite Moon's insistence that Kim can be persuaded to abandon his nuclear facilities, materials and bombs in a verifiable and irreversible way in exchange for credible security and economic guarantees.

"Kim stressed again that he had a firm determination toward complete denucleariaation", the South Korean president added.

"However, during the U.S".

"He also expressed his intention to put an end to the history of war and confrontation through the success of the North-US summit and to cooperate for peace and prosperity", Moon told reporters on Sunday.

The main dispute between the US and North Korea boils down to how fast Kim should give up his weapons, and what he'll get in return.

Coming after a surprise meeting between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, the move was the latest sign that the on-again, off-again Trump-Kim summit may yet go ahead as planned.

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