Korean leaders meet in surprise summit

The leaders of North and South Korea have met in the demilitarised border area between the two countries.

The meeting is only the second between South Korea’s Moon Jae-in and the North’s Kim Jong-un.

It comes as the two sides continue efforts to put a historic US-North Korea summit back on track.

US President Donald Trump cancelled the summit, scheduled to be held in Singapore on 12 June, but later suggested it might still go ahead.

The latest talks were held on the northern side of the Panmunjom truce village, between 15:00 and 17:00 local time (06:00 and 08:00 GMT), Mr Moon’s office said.

“Both leaders exchanged opinions… for the successful holding of the North Korea-US summit,” it added, saying that Mr Moon would announce the outcome of the talks on Sunday morning.

In Washington, Trump administration spokeswoman Sarah Sanders confirmed that an advance team of White House and Department of State officials would leave for Singapore this weekend, as originally scheduled, to prepare for a possible summit there.

The talks between Mr Trump and Mr Kim, if they were to go ahead, would be focused on ways of denuclearising the Korean peninsula and reducing tensions.

What has Trump said about talks with Kim?

After cancelling the scheduled summit last Thursday, blaming North Korea’s “tremendous anger and open hostility”, Mr Trump tweeted on Friday that “very productive talks” had taken place with the North on reinstating the summit with Mr Kim.

“We’re gonna see what happens. We’re talking to them [North Korea] now. It was a very nice statement they put out,” Mr Trump told reporters at the White House in Washington.

He was referring to comments from the North’s Vice-Foreign Minister, Kim Kye-gwan, who said that Mr Trump’s decision was “unexpected” and “extremely regrettable”, adding that Pyongyang was willing “to sit face to face at any time”.

While Mr Trump said in a letter addressed to Mr Kim that he had cancelled the “long-planned” meeting “for the good of both parties”, he also said that “wonderful dialogue” had recently taken place and that he was still looking forward to meeting the North Korean leader.