Surprise! Kim and Moon meet and even Trump is hopeful again

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So what does the cancellation of the Trump-Kim summit in Singapore mean for the region?

Saturday's meeting is only the fourth time serving leaders of the two Koreas, who remain technically at war, have ever met.

On Sunday, Moon planned to disclose the outcome of that meeting.

Kim met Saturday with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, a key figure in brokering the U.S.

"We will neither beg the USA for dialogue nor take the trouble to persuade them if they do not want to sit together with us", she said. North Korea generates a tiny fraction - less than 5 percent, by some estimates - of the electricity that South Korea does, leaving passengers stranded for hours in immobilized trains because of widespread power shortages, according to defectors from the country. Kim Jong Un's comments published by the newspaper did not include any mention of his potential meeting with Mr. Trump.

China's Vice President Wang Qishan found encouragement in the continuing exchanges between the USA and North Korea.

Still, both sides have expressed a willingness to engage in talks, and a picture of continuing diplomatic efforts has emerged over the past 72 hours.

The thaw between North and South Korea comes after a tense 2017, in which multiple missile tests by North Korea prompted an worldwide outcry and an exchange of insults and threats between Kim and Trump. Nonetheless, strains between the allies have periodically become noticeable.

Trump had blamed the Pyongyang regime's "tremendous anger and open hostility" as he pulled out of the talks, saying the world had "lost a great opportunity for lasting peace". He said Xi's meeting with Kim was meant to boost the inexperienced and isolated North Korean leader's confidence in dealing with complex diplomacy.

US President Donald Trump has cancelled the planned summit with North Korea and Kim Jong-un
US President Donald Trump

Photos released by South Korea's presidential office showed Moon arriving at the northern side of the Panmunjom truce village and shaking hands with Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, before sitting down with Kim for their summit.

Moon was accompanied by his spy chief, Suh Hoon, while Kim was joined by Kim Yong Chol, a former military intelligence chief who is now a vice chairman of the North Korean ruling party's central committee tasked with inter-Korean relations.

Kim and Moon ended the meeting in an embrace.

The US is demanding that North Korea completely end its nuclear weapons programme. Kim's father, Kim Jong Il, held meetings with his South Korean counterparts in 2000 and 2007.

But then Trump suggested Friday that his planned meeting with Kim could still happen on June 12.

Some sources said another reason the North Korean official may have been sent to Beijing was to arrange a visit to Pyongyang by Chinese President Xi Jinping. He expressed cautious optimism that the meeting could be held after all.

"We consider it fortunate that the embers of dialogue between the USA and North Korea have not died and are now being revived", he said. "We are carefully watching the developments". In March, apparently acting on impulse, Trump agreed to the talks with Kim after only limited input from aides. Trump called that "a very nice statement".

Last year Trump and Kim were trading war threats and insults after Pyongyang tested its most powerful nuclear bomb to date and launched test missiles it said were capable of reaching the United States.

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