June 12 Summit May Be a “Go” As Korean Leaders Meet

North and South Korea’s leaders held a hastily arranged secret meeting on Saturday in their attempts to salvage the June 12 summit between Kim Jong Un and Donald Trump.

Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in talked for two hours and afterwards they were hopeful they had a plan to convince America’s president that the summit should still take place in order to bring peace to the Korean peninsula.  They also said that they plan additional talks this week to work out more details.

Trump had canceled his planned June 12 summit meeting with Kim last Thursday. Later, however, he told reporters that his people were “having very productive talks with North Korea about reinstating” it.  He appeared to leave the door open for further negotiations. Then the North Korean government said that Kim is ready to talk to Trump “at any time.” These statements show just how badly all three parties involved need the summit to happen to score political points at home.

A team from the White House will go ahead and travel to Singapore as they had planned to do all along, in order to move forward on preparations for theTrump-Kim meeting.

On Sunday Moon Jae-in said that during the meeting Kim Jong Un told him that he is still committed to the “complete denuclearization” of the Korean Peninsula and that he is still willing to meet with President Trump.

Moon, however, was not able to tell reporters how he defined the phrase “complete denuclearization,” which has been a point of contention and disagreement.  He said that there are still “fundamental gaps” on this key issue and there will be more discussions in their attempts to resolve the issue.

Moon also told reporters that Kim had expressed concern about whether he and the North Korean government could trust any U.S. guarantees.  One such guarantee that may be most important is the one concerning whether or not Kim would remain in power following denuclearization of his country.

Moon said that his impromptu meeting with the North Korean leader Saturday afternoon was requested by Kim because he believes a face-to-face meeting with Trump next month could “put an end to the history of war” between the two nations.

“We two leaders agreed the June 12 North Korea-U.S. summit must be successfully held,” Moon said of the meeting, which took place on the northern side of the demilitarized zone at the truce village of Panmunjom along their border.

Clearly the Koreans want the summit to take place, and Donald Trump may also want it to happen as scheduled.  Whether it will actually take place, however, remains to be seen.