U.S. Officials In North Korea For Summit Talks

It looks like the on-again, off-again North Korea summit is going ahead after all.

What you need to know
  • U.S. officials have crossed the border into North Korea to hold talks for a possible summit
  • It comes days after President Donald Trump pulled out of the June 12 summit
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met with South Korean president Moon Jae-in in a surprise meeting on Sunday
  • The leaders agreed that the summit should be held successfully
  • Kim reaffirmed his commitment to "complete" denuclearisation

U.S. officials have crossed into North Korea to hold talks on preparations for a possible summit, a US newspaper reports, as North Korean leader Kim Jong-un reaffirmed his commitment to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Both Pyongyang and Washington are pressing ahead with plans for a meeting between the two leaders after Trump pulled out of the scheduled June 12 summit on Thursday, only to reconsider the decision the next day.

The Washington Post, citing a person familiar with the arrangements, said Sung Kim, a former U.S. ambassador to South Korea and former nuclear negotiator with the North, was leading the preparations on the U.S. side.

He crossed into North Korean territory with Allison Hooker, the Korea expert on the White House National Security Council. They met with Choe Son Hui, the North Korean vice foreign minister, the Post said. Pentagon official Randall Schriver is also in Seoul currently, the Post said.

The meetings are expected to continue on Monday and Tuesday and are focused on the issue of North Korea's nuclear weapons program, it said.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said earlier that he and North Korea's Kim agreed at a surprise meeting on Saturday that the possible North Korea-US summit must be held, Moon told a news conference in Seoul.

Kim reaffirmed his commitment to "complete" denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula and to a planned meeting with Trump, Moon told a news conference in Seoul.

"Chairman Kim and I have agreed that the June 12 summit should be held successfully, and that our quest for the Korean peninsula's denuclearisation and a perpetual peace regime should not be halted," Moon said.

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

While maintaining that Kim is committed to denuclearisation, Moon acknowledged Pyongyang and Washington may have differing expectations of what that means and he urged both sides to hold working-level talks to resolve their differences.

A statement from North Korea's state news agency KCNA said Kim expressed "his fixed will" on the possibility of meeting Trump as previously planned.

Trump said on Saturday he was still looking at a June 12 date for a summit in Singapore and that talks were progressing very well.

"We're doing very well in terms of the summit with North Korea," Trump said at the White House. "It's moving along very nicely. So we're looking at June 12th in Singapore. That hasn't changed. So, we'll see what happens."

With AAP.