Trump teases summit with North Korea may still happen after pulling plug


South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Saturday.

The leaders of North and South Korea held a second summit on Saturday in the demilitarized border area between the two countries, Seoul President's office said.

Trump later tweeted that the summit, if it does happen, would likely take place on June 12 in Singapore as originally planned.

On Saturday, Kim Chang-son, who has been serving as de facto chief of staff to Kim Jong-un, was seen at a Beijing airport taking an Air Koryo flight to Pyongyang, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reported.

Mr Trump scrapped the meeting in a letter to Mr Kim on Thursday after repeated threats by North Korea to pull out over what it saw as confrontational remarks by USA officials demanding unilateral disarmament.

The thaw between North and South Korea comes after a tense 2017, in which multiple missile tests by North Korea prompted an worldwide outcry and an exchange of insults and threats between Kim and Trump.

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The unannounced meeting is the latest dramatic turn in a week of diplomatic flip-flops surrounding 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 summit on track.

Russia's President Vladimir Putin held out hope the talks would eventually take place.

"They shared the opinion that they would meet frequently in the future to make dialogue brisk and pool wisdom and efforts, expressing their stand to make joint efforts for the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula", KCNA said.

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However, there was a further signal from the US Saturday the June 12 summit may yet go ahead as the White House said it would send a team to Singapore to prepare for the meeting. "We'll see what happens - it could even be the 12th".

The quickly arranged meeting seemed to demonstrate Kim's urgency to secure a summit with Trump, which may provide his best shot at saving his economy from crushing sanctions and win security assurances in a region surrounded by enemies, analysts say.

He also vowed to "create conditions for dialogue with North Korea", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said. China now appears squarely at the center of any push to bring the sides together and Washington and South Korea will likely have to work more closely with China now, Cheng said.

"Very productive talks" are underway between the U.S. and North Korea over reinstating a summit in June, Donald Trump has said.

The summit took place from 3 5 Panmungak, a North Korean building inside Panmunjeom, Yoon said.

After years of tension over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons programme, Mr Kim and Mr Trump agreed this month to hold what would be the first meeting between a serving U.S. president and a North Korean leader.

Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe said he respected and supported the U.S. president's move to cancel the summit while China, Pyongyang's sole major ally, urged the two foes to "show goodwill".

North Korea issued an unusually restrained and diplomatic response to Mr. Trump, saying it's still willing to sit for talks with the United States "at any time, (in) any format".

The two peninsula leaders met on May 26, according to South Korea's presidential office, just as this interview was recorded.