South Korean president meets with Kim Jong Un to discuss US-North Korea summit

South Korean president meets with Kim Jong Un to discuss US-North Korea summit
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South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un met on Saturday to discuss the possibility of renewed talks between the U.S. and North Korea, the South's Blue House said. 

The meeting came as a surprise, and was not made public until after it ended. Moon and Kim met on the North Korean side of the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) that separates the two countries, in the village of Panmunjom. 

The meeting, which lasted about two hours, was the second between Kim and Moon in less than a month. The leaders met for the first time on April 27 on the South Korean side of the DMZ.

The latest encounter between the Korean leaders came two days after President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says GOP senators have called to congratulate him Biden: Trump attending inauguration is 'of consequence' to the country Biden says family will avoid business conflicts MORE abruptly canceled a planned summit with Kim that was previously set to take place on June 12 in Singapore.


In a letter to Kim on Thursday, Trump cited the North's "hostility" toward the U.S. as his reason for backing out of the summit, but said that he was still willing to meet if Pyongyang changed its demeanor. 

Trump's announcement caught officials in Seoul off guard. Moon told reporters on Thursday that he was "very perplexed" by the move, and urged the U.S. to continue to engage with North Korea.

Despite Trump's cancellation, the U.S. and North Korea have offered signals that a meeting could still be on the table. A top North Korean official said on Thursday that the North remained willing to "sit down at any time, in any way, to solve the problem."

Trump appeared optimistic on Friday about the possibility of a meeting, revealing that the U.S. was still in touch with Pyongyang, and that a summit with Kim "could even be" on June 12.

“We’ll see what happens. We’re talking to them now,” Trump said on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One. “They very much want to do it. We’d like to do it.”

At the Saturday meeting, Kim and Moon also discussed the Panmunjom Declaration, the agreement signed at their first summit last month that stated a shared goal of formally ending the decades-long Korean War and moving toward the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, the Blue House said.

Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, also attended the meeting on Saturday.