Preparations for Donald Trump’s summit with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un are back on, following a meeting today (May 26) between Kim and South Korea’s Moon Jae-in.
The US president pulled out of a planned June 12 meeting this week, citing heated rhetoric from Pyongyang—and after days of only getting “dial tones” when calling North Korean negotiators. But Trump’s break-up letter seems to have spurred North Korea into action, prompting a more conciliatory response from vice foreign minister Kim Kye Gwan, and a “very productive” two-hour meeting between Kim and Moon on the North’s side of the Korean border.
The Singapore summit may now happen, Trump said in a tweet last night (May 25).
An advance team of White House and State department officials is still planning on leaving for Singapore tomorrow, to work out logistics for the trip, Politico reports.
All three leaders have considerable political capital on the line, with Trump having lauded his deal-making prowess, Kim being pounded by sanctions, and Moon making calmer relations with the North a hallmark aim of his presidency.
However, even if they solve the communications issues, they need to overcome a major sticking point: the US insists that Pyongyang must completely denuclearize. Most Korea experts say Kim will never do that.