South Korea's Moon Jae-in may join Trump, Kim for Singapore summit: Report

South Korea's Moon Jae-in may join Trump, Kim for Singapore summit: Report

Trump Kim Moon collage
From the left: US President Donald Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean president Moon Jae-in. (File photos: Reuters, AFP)

SEOUL: South Korean President Moon Jae-in could join US President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore for a three-way summit next month.

A top North Korean official and US officials have also left for Singapore in preparation for the summit, reports said.

According to a Yonhap news report on Monday (May 28), a government official from the presidential office said the trip will likely be made around Jun 12.

"The discussions are just getting started, so we are still waiting to see how they come out, but depending on their outcome, the president could join President Trump and Chairman Kim in Singapore," the official said. 

A three-way summit was proposed by Moon and Kim when they first met at the border village of Panmunjom on Apr 27, Yonhap said.

Moon raised the suggestion again on Sunday, one day after he held a second, surprise meeting with Kim."Should the North Korea-US summit succeed, I would like to see efforts to formally end the (Korean) war through a three-way summit of the South, the North and the US," Moon told a press briefing.

Trump said on Sunday a US team had arrived in North Korea to prepare for a proposed summit between him and Kim, which Trump pulled out of last week before reconsidering.

In addition to those talks, the White House said a "pre-advance team" left for Singapore - where the summit has been expected to take place - on Sunday morning to work on logistics.

Yonhap initially reported that the North Korean official on his way to Singapore was Ri Son Gwon. It later amended its report to say that the official was Kim Chang Son, the de facto chief of staff to Kim, and he is leading the country's delegation to discuss the logistics and security issues for the summit.

He arrived in Beijing on Monday and was expected to take a Singapore-bound flight late in the afternoon.

A South Korean lawmaker has said that Kim may also stop over in Beijing en route to Singapore.

Park Jie-won, an opposition lawmaker, told a radio programme that Kim's private jet appears to have problems flying the distance directly and is likely to stop in China.

"I expect that Kim could meet with Xi again when he stops in China before heading to Singapore," Yonhap reported Park as saying.

Moon also said on Monday that there could be more impromptu talks with North Korea, including summits between pre-arranged dialogue. 

"What's more important than anything from the latest inter-Korean summit was that the leaders easily got in contact, easily made an appointment and easily met to discuss urgent matters, without complicated procedures and formalities, just like a casual meeting," Moon told a meeting with senior secretaries.

"If we could hold working-level, back-to-back talks on both sides of Panmunjom if urgently necessary in addition to formal summits, it would expedite advancement of inter-Korean relations," he said.

Source: CNA/Reuters/zl/na/hm