Moon urges North Korea, US to communicate ahead of Singapore summit

Kim reaffirmed his commitment to "complete" denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and to the planned summit when he held surprise talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Mr Kim Jong-un later spoke of his "fixed will" that the summit should go ahead.

The meeting was the latest dramatic turn in a week of diplomatic ups and downs surrounding the prospects for an unprecedented summit between the United States and North Korea, and the strongest sign yet that the two Korean leaders are trying to keep the on-again off-again meeting on track.

Trump said his decision was based on the "tremendous anger and open hostility displayed" by North Korea officials recently over USA demands that Pyongyang follow the Libya denuclearization model.

A senior USA official says the North Koreans stood up an American delegation last week seeking to make arrangements for the summit and did not return messages from the US seeking to discuss the meeting.

"What Kim is unclear about is that he has concerns about whether his country can surely trust the United States over its promise to end hostile relations", Mr Moon said.

"I emphasized that the two sides must directly communicate in order to eradicate any misunderstandings, and preliminary talks through working-level negotiations on key agendas are necessary", said President Moon at a press briefing in Seoul Sunday. So we're looking at June 12th in Singapore.

"Kim Jong Un on his part did everything he promised to do, even blew up some tunnels on their sites and after this we hear the U.S. is canceling the meeting", Putin said, referring to North Korea's apparent destruction of at least three nuclear tunnels, observation buildings, a metal foundry and living quarters at its Punggye-ri nuclear test site on Thursday.

He added: "It's moving along nicely". So we're looking at June 12th in Singapore. "That hasn't changed. It's moving along pretty well, so we'll see what happens", Trump told reporters at the White House during a meeting with a U.S. prisoner freed by Venezuela.

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However, there was a further signal of progress Saturday as White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed a team of U.S. officials were leaving for Singapore "in order to prepare should the summit take place".

The Trump administration has demanded that North Korea completely and irreversibly shut its nuclear weapons programme.

The months-long war of words between Kim and Trump in 2017 had to do with their disagreement over North Korea's nuclear program.

The prime minister said he plans to hold talks with Trump over the telephone soon after returning to Japan.

"I think the two leaders will sit down and they're going to have a great time, because really they have the same personality", he said on Sunday.

Trump also said that there is "a lot of good will" on the North Korean side. And everyone agrees on a work program that they give to their staffs that moves the Korean Peninsula in a direction of being more stable, more transparent, less prone to war.

They agreed to have their top officials meet again on June 1.

The agency said the two leaders had reached a "satisfactory consensus" and expressed "their stand to make joint efforts for the decentralization of the Korean peninsula".

While China would nearly certainly block any US attempt to win passage of more U.N. sanctions, the United States still has at its disposal further unilateral measures such as imposing its own new sanctions on North Korean officials and entities or additional Chinese companies that do business with Pyongyang.

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