South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Sunday confirmed the willingness of Kim Jong Un, the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), and U.S. President Donald Trump to hold the first-ever historic DPRK-U.S. summit as scheduled.
Moon delivered a nationally televised address at the presidential complex, saying both Kim and Trump wished the success of their summit originally scheduled for June 12 in Singapore "wholeheartedly."
The confirmation came after Moon held a surprise summit Saturday with Kim on the DPRK side of the border village of Panmunjom. Moon met with Trump in Washington on May 22 to discuss the DPRK-U.S. summit.
The South Korean leader said he met with Kim for the second time in a month following the third inter-Korean summit on the South Korean side of Panmunjom on April 27.
The second meeting between Moon and Kim was held at the request of the DPRK leader.
At the April 27 summit, Moon and Kim promised to meet at any time, in any place and in no format, if necessary, to discuss significant issues between the two Koreas.
Kim had delivered his intent Friday afternoon to meet with Moon in no format, which the South Korean president willingly accepted.
Moon spoke highly his second meeting with Kim, which the South Korean leader likened to a daily round between old friends. He said the two Koreas should meet as it was.
During the Saturday meeting, Moon explained to Kim about the outcome of his summit with Trump in Washington earlier this week, conveying Trump's firm will to end hostile relations with the DPRK and build economic cooperation if Kim fulfills complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.
Moon told Kim that Pyongyang and Washington should dispel possible misunderstandings via direct dialogues and have sufficient working-level talks over agenda that needs to be agreed upon at the Kim-Trump summit as both Kim and Trump wholeheartedly wished the success of the DPRK-U.S. summit.
Kim agreed to the need for what Moon told him, the South Korean president noted.
The DPRK leader made clear his commitment to complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula at the Saturday meeting, expressing his willingness to end the history of war and conflicts and cooperate for peace and prosperity via a successful DPRK-U.S. summit.
Moon and Kim wished the June 12 DPRK-U.S. summit could be held as scheduled and the journey of denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula and building permanent peace should never be stopped. The leaders agreed to closely cooperate to achieve it.
To rapidly enforce the Panmunjom Declaration, which Moon and Kim announced after the April 27 summit, the two sides agreed to resume high-level inter-Korean dialogue on June 1, which had been canceled at the last minute.
It will be followed by inter-Korean military talks to ease military tensions and a Red Cross talks to hold the reunion of separated families across the inter-Korean border since the 1950-53 Korean War ended with an armistice, according to the South Korean president who took office in May last year.
Moon and Kim also agreed to meet and communicate, if necessary, at any time and in no format, Moon said.
The inter-Korean talks between high-level officials were originally held last week, but Pyongyang made a pre-dawn cancellation citing the joint annual South Korea-U.S. air combat exercises, codenamed Max Thunder that ended on Friday.
In a publicized letter to the DPRK leader, Trump canceled the DPRK-U.S. summit on Thursday, citing "tremendous anger and open hostility" displayed in recent DPRK statements.
Following the cancellation, the DPRK said it was ready to sit down with the United States, and then Trump said the U.S.-DPRK summit likely remained as scheduled.
Moon said in the speech that the DPRK showed its determination by dismantling its nuclear test site and stopping nuclear and missile tests, calling it a completely new start toward complete denuclearization and permanent peace on the peninsula.
Pyongyang invited journalists earlier this week to let them cover the dismantlement of the Punggye-ri nuclear test site, where all of its six nuclear tests were conducted.