Written by Ashley Koh

What happened?

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean Leader Kim Jong-un met in a surprise meeting on Saturday (May 26). The two leaders met for two hours at the heavily militarized border, exchanging views on the implementation of the April 27 Panmunjom Declaration. The historic declaration sees both Koreas agreeing to improve relations and sharing commitments to end the Korean War, marking an unprecedented step towards peace on the Korean peninsula. The two leaders are also scheduled to hold another round of high-level talks on June 1, staying true to their declared commitment to meet more often.

But wait, there’s more! The surprise meeting also had Kim reaffirming his willingness to engage in talks with Trump, after Trump cancelled the North Korea-US summit that would have been held on June 12 in Singapore. Trump previously cancelled the summit citing North Korea’s “open hostility” to the reaction towards US Vice President Mike Pence’s comments that North Korea will end like the Libya model if Kim does not make a deal (If you didn’t know, the Libya model saw the ousting of Libyan dictator Muammar Gaddafi after he agreed to abandon nuclear aspirations).

So, what now?

The day after cancelling the summit, where Trump compared the size of his nuclear arsenal to Kim’s, Trump stated that he, like Kim, is open to dialogue and reinstated the June 12 summit after welcoming a conciliatory statement from North Korea (I swear this has more plot twists than a M. Night Shyamalan movie). White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders also said a White House team will leave for Singapore as scheduled, to prepare for the summit to discuss the agenda and logistics with North Korean officials. Hopefully the summit preparations will see its execution amid the series of diplomatic flip flops surrounding the historic event.  

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