South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un held an unannounced meeting on May 26 at the Panmunjom border village to discuss a possible upcoming summit between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump, the South had earlier said.
Trump said "very productive talks" are ongoing with North Korea over the summit.
"All the efforts I am making now are aimed at improving the South-North Korea relationship on one hand, but on the other hand, they are also aimed at holding the North Korea-U.S. summit that is absolutely needed to improve the South-North ties", Moon said.
- Trump says he is looking forward to June 12 meeting with Kim in Singapore.
The South Korean President met Kim on the North side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) between the two Koreas late Saturday.
The press secretary however, declined to elaborate further and said details of the summit would be revealed Sunday by President Moon himself. He said: "They very much want to do it, we'd like to do it".
House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi said in Capitol Hill at the weekend that the cancelled summit was "a good thing for Kim Jong-un".
US officials have talked about a comprehensive one-shot deal in which North Korea fully eliminates its nukes first and receives rewards later.
President Donald Trump has signaled repeatedly that he's open to proceeding with the historic sit-down despite sending a blunt letter North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday apparently calling it off.
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"The only person who can pick the ball from the net is Moon Jae-in, because he can connect the two sides and he doesn't have to keep his pride over it", he said.
- Moon calls for opening a hotline between Trump and Kim.
Unlike last month's summit, which was held in front of live TV cameras, yesterday's meeting took place in utmost secrecy, with reporters only being told later that the face-to-face had taken place.
South Korean officials told Reuters that the goal of the meeting was to ensure that the Singapore summit goes ahead as planned.
Trump blamed the cancellation on the "tremendous anger and open hostility" in a recent statement by the North Koreans.
Moon was blindsided by Trump's decision to abruptly announce he was canceling the summit, less a day after returning from meeting in the Oval Office created to keep the momentum in the diplomatic effort.
The North Koreans were reacting to comments by Vice President Mike Pence suggesting that the rogue state could face a fate similar to that of Libya, where former leader Muammar Qaddafi was deposed and killed after agreeing to dispose of his nuclear weapons.
South Korea, a longtime US ally, was not notified before Trump's letter canceling with Kim was made public on Thursday.
After years of tension over Pyongyang's nuclear weapons program, Kim and Trump agreed this month to hold what would be the first meeting between a serving U.S. president and a North Korean leader.
The meeting came about a month after the first inter-Korean summit took place at a South Korean building inside Panmunjeom.