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Trump suggests North Korea summit could still happen


President Donald Trump said Friday a meeting he cancelled with his North Korean counterpart just yesterday could still go ahead on June 12, saying "we’re talking to them now" about putting it back on track, APA reports quoting Anadolu Agency.

 

"It could even be the 12th," Trump told reporters at the White House, referring to the original date for the summit originally planned to take place in Singapore. "They very much want to do it. We'd like to do it. We're going to see what happens."

 

The announcement comes after Trump abruptly called off the planned meeting Thursday, citing heated rhetoric from the North's leadership.

 

Pyongyang returned to threats of nuclear war via a senior official Thursday after a marked turn toward diplomacy with the U.S. and the South, warning Washington that the U.S. should back away from its insistence that the North agree to complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization.

 

But on Friday, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye-gwan said his country remains willing to hold dialogue with the United States "anytime and in any format."

 

"Our commitment to doing our best for the sake of peace and stability for the world and the Korean Peninsula remains unchanged, and we are open-minded in giving time and opportunity to the U.S.," Kim said in a statement carried by the North's state-run KCNA news agency.

 

Trump responded favorably to the comments, calling them "a very nice statement."

 

Meanwhile, South Korean President Moon Jae-in called on Trump and Kim to talk directly to avoid any communication mix-up.

 

"I am very perplexed and it is very regrettable that the North Korea-U.S. summit will not be held on June 12 when it was scheduled to be held," Moon said at an emergency government meeting early Friday, according to local news agency Yonhap.

 

The South's leader secured Kim's promise to pursue peace and denuclearization at a breakthrough inter-Korean summit on April 27.

 

Moon was also in Washington earlier this week for talks aimed at helping Trump prepare to meet his North Korean counterpart.

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