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US Diplomats Stood Up by North Korea in Singapore

US officials travel to North Korea to prepare for summit despite uncertainty

Trump told reporters Saturday that: "We're doing very well in terms of the summit with North Korea", adding that "there are meetings going on as we speak". "It's moving along very nicely. Looks like it's going along very well", said the U.S. president in response to questions from reporters.

Then Mr. Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a secret meeting Saturday in the demilitarized zone between the two countries.

After Saturday's surprise inter-Korean talks, South Korean President Moon Jae-in said Kim was still committed to the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula.

Moon revealed that the Panmunjom meeting had taken place at the request of Kim, two days prior.

With the fate of a summit between President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in limbo, US officials have suggested Washington may pursue fresh sanctions on Pyongyang over its nuclear program even though key players such as China and South Korea may be reluctant to participate.

May 24: Trump calls off the planned summit with Kim Jong Un. He had described the cancellation of the summit as "a tremendous setback" for North Korea and warned that the United States military is ready to act should Pyongyang take any "foolish and reckless" action.

Moon said that the United States has an understanding of the North's sincerity toward denuclearization talks, highlighting that the two countries agreement to hold a summit shows that Washington has confirmation of Kim's intentions. Moon sidestepped a question Sunday on whether Kim clearly mentioned if he would agree to the USA demand for complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearisation, saying that the two sides would need to discuss it at working-level talks.

"Even though they share the same resolve, there need to be discussions regarding the roadmap for how to make it happen, and that process could be tough", he said, declining to define "complete denuclearization".

Saturday's Korean summit came hours after South Korea expressed relief over revived talks for a Trump-Kim meeting.

In April, Trump had stunned the world by accepting an invitation to meet Kim in an unprecedented sit-down. There has been no response yet to Saturday's developments in Korea from official USA channels.

Their quickly arranged meeting Saturday appears to highlight a sense of urgency on both sides of the world's most heavily armed border: Moon wants to secure a summit that he sees as the best way to ease animosity that had some fearing a war previous year; Kim may see the sit-down with Trump as necessary to easing pressure from crushing sanctions and to winning security assurances in a region surrounded by enemies.

Moon suggested that "it is necessary for the two sides to engage in direct talks to eliminate misunderstandings and have sufficient preliminary, working level negotiations concerning the agenda". KCNA said the leaders also agreed to meet frequently. During the meeting, Kim reportedly expressed a "fixed will" to hold a North Korea-US summit in Singapore and expressed commitment to denuclearize Korean peninsula. The two Koreas are technically still at war, with the 1950-53 Korean War having ended in an armistice. But Moon said Sunday that he and Kim made a decision to meet again, rather than have a telephone conversation, as their aides suggested "candid" face-to-face talks between the leaders.