South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump have held talks to ensure the North Korea-US summit remains on track after North Korea threatened to pull out.
Moon and Trump spoke over the phone for about 20 minutes on Sunday and exchanged views on North Korea’s recent reactions, South Korea’s presidential office said without elaborating.
“The two leaders will work closely and unwaveringly for the successful hosting of the North Korea-US summit set for June 12, as well as the upcoming South Korea-US summit,” the presidential official said.
Moon and Trump will meet on Tuesday in Washington before North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meets with Trump on June 12 in Singapore.
Although an historic inter-Korean summit in late April raised hopes of reconciliation, North Korea has showed a dramatic change in tone in recent days.
North Korea’s chief negotiator Ri Son Gwon said on Thursday it would not hold talks with South Korea unless its demands were met, taking issue with the US-South Korean air combat drills known as Max Thunder.
It came a day after it threatened to pull out of the summit with the United States.
Further dampening the mood, North Korea’s Red Cross Society reportedly demanded on Saturday that South Korea send a group of North Korean restaurant workers back home “without delay” to improve inter-Korean ties.
A dozen North Korean restaurant workers came to South Korea from China in 2016. North Korea has claimed they were abducted by the South, even though the South has said the 12 workers decided to defect of their own free will.