Trump to meet Abe before 'expected' Kim summit


The much-hyped meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will seemingly take place in Singapore next month, on the same date as previously planned before the surprise cancellation that emerged from the White House on Thursday.

President Donald Trump has signaled that he's open to proceeding with the sitdown.

Across Asia, administration officials have been dispatched to carry out Trump's directive. "We are talking to them now", Trump said at the White House before boarding Marine One for a commencement address in Annapolis. Three thousand miles away in Singapore, a team of USA logistics officials arrived late Monday and was expecting the arrival of a corresponding team from Pyongyang.

Moon and Kim met just north of the heavily militarised border in the afternoon to exchange views to pave way for a summit between the North and the United States, South Korea's presidential office said. Aides are cautiously optimistic this time will be different, even as they continue to express private misgivings about the compressed timeline to arrange the meeting.

Washington announced on Saturday it will send a planning team to Singapore to prepare for a possible summit with Kim Jong Un, even though it remains unclear if the negotiations with Pyongyang will go ahead.

With prospects dimming and aides increasingly skeptical, Trump at first clung to his plans to meet with the North Korean leader, seeking to pull off what the president saw as a history-making nuclear deal. "Only time (and talent) will tell!"

The original decision to abandon the historic summit blindsided South Korea which had brokered a remarkable detente between Washington and Pyongyang after months of Kim and Trump trading insults and threats of war.

Kim was with his sister Kim Yo-jong and his top aide Kim Yong chol in charge of inter-Korean affairs.

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Concerns grew earlier this month after North Korea responded to the USA calling for the denuclearisation of the peninsula and a complete dismantling of the nuclear programme by threatening to pull out of the summit unless Washington offered something in return.

Yesterday Trump tweeted that talks were still be held between the USA and North Korea and the summit could still take place as scheduled.

Trump, speaking Friday to graduates at the U.S. Naval Academy, did not mention North Korea directly, but he stressed the United States' military might.

The spy chiefs from both sides were at the meeting according to the photos.

This came after several roller-coaster days in which Trump canceled the summit, set for June 12 in Singapore. It was the decision made by the two Koreas, Yoon said.

Instead, those details would be hammered out at the working level in the months and years to come. "We will see what happens", he said.

Earlier on Friday, speaking to reporters outside the White House in Washington, the USA president indicated that the summit could still be salvaged, saying: "We're gonna see what happens".