South Korean President Moon Jae-in has said a face-to-face meeting between U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un could "put an end to the history of war" between the two nations.
"Chairman Kim and I have agreed... our quest for the Korean Peninsula's denuclearization and a perpetual peace regime should not be halted," Moon told reporters. "He [Kim] also expressed his intention to put an end to the history of war and confrontation through the success of the North-U.S. summit and to cooperate for peace and prosperity.”
The Moon-Kim talks, at the Panmunjom border village at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) Saturday, lasted two hours. The previous meeting was also held at the same venue. The DMZ is a four-kilometer-wide buffer that runs along the heavily armed North-South military border.
"Donald Trump is seen as a person who can start a war. And over the last say 48 hours – maybe more – they fear that Donald Trump's administration is going to cancel the summit and that this will lead to a new escalation of tensions and probably war. This fear has been decisive," said Andrei Lankov, from Kookmin University in Seoul, said about defusing any agitation.
"I think it's the North Koreans who have driven this engagement. They've consolidated their strategic nuclear deterrent, they've decided that they can push through with negotiations - not only with the United States but also with South Korea and re-engage China. They have a clear pathway forward."
A statement from North Korea's state news agency (KCNA) said Kim expressed “his fixed will” on meeting with Trump.
The South Korean leader, during the meeting with Jong-un, had also reaffirmed that he is committed to the "complete" denuclearizing of the Korean Peninsula. Trump – after stating that the meeting was canceled, due to "open hostility" from Pyongyang – said the June 12 summit with Kim will now go ahead, in Singapore, as previously planned.
"We're doing very well in terms of the summit with North Korea," Trump said. "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."
Both Korean leaders held a meeting at the demilitarized zone on Saturday.