Trump and Kim fight PR war as summit talks collapse

Donald Trump says US North Korea summit ‘could’ happen on 12 June

That's the barbed-wire border that separates North from South, including a no-man's land that real estate buyers can't even enter.

The Blue House, South Korea's Presidential Office, said the two leaders held talks for two hours in the truce village of Panmunjom, where they had met last month and made a declaration vowing to improve ties.

North Korea hardened its rhetoric toward the USA on Thursday, lashing out after remarks by Vice President Mike Pence and the White House national security adviser, John Bolton, that had linked the country with Libya.

The report, quoting unnamed sources, said Kim Chang-son's trip to Beijing started on Thursday and could mean another China visit by the North Korean leader. Trump cited North Korean hostility in cancelling the summit.

In the US, Republican Senator Tom Cotton praised President Trump for "seeing through Kim Jong-un's fraud".

It suggests Moon, who was a key figure in encouraging Kim to come in from the cold and return to talks by inviting North Korea to attend the Winter Olympics in January, is taking an active role in keeping the summit with Trump on track.

Asked Friday if the North Koreans were playing games with their communications, Mr Trump responded: "Everybody plays games".

"They committed to remaining closely coordinated in all of their efforts to create conditions for dialogue with North Korea and agreed that must continue until North Korea embraces denuclearization", Nauert said in a statement.

On Saturday, South Korea, which had brokered the remarkable detente between Washington and Pyongyang, cautiously welcomed Trump's latest comments.

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He said North Korea remained open to resolving issues with Washington "regardless of ways, at any time". Indeed, the diplomatic fallout from a collapse in talks could be so severe that Trump may feel politically he may have no choice but to strike with all the fallout-geopolitically as well as atomically-that comes with it.

What were Mr Trump's latest comments?

And the White House maintained that it will be ready in any event. Kim wants to make a "grandiose proposal", he said, such as denuclearization in exchange for normalizing relations, but agreeing to that without working out the finer points could have serious ripple effects, including taking away the legal justification for USA troops on the peninsula.

The statement said North Korea is "open-minded in giving time and opportunity to the U.S". "You talk about your nuclear capabilities, but ours are so massive and powerful that I pray to God they will never have to be used", Trump wrote.

Notably, the statement did not appear in Saturday's edition of Rodong Sinmun, the official mouthpiece of the North's ruling party that's widely read by North Koreans.

If talks were to fail, and that is a very distinct possibility given the lack of mutual trust, decades of hostility and the simple fact that North Korea's nuclear weapons are its true only trump card-no pun intended-it will likely stem from the fact that each side approaches them with wildly different sets of starting points for negotiations.

"It is best to treat this all like a reality TV show", Vipin Narang, a North Korea expert and professor of global relations at MIT, wrote Friday on Twitter.

Trump's initial cancellation of the summit blindsided treaty ally Seoul, with President Moon Jae-in calling the move "shocking and very regrettable". For instance, the North cancelled a high-level meeting last week because it said it was outraged over joint military exercises being conducted by USA and South Korean forces - even though Kim had previously said the drills would not be an issue. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi was deposed and killed by NATO-backed militants after halting his nascent nuclear program.

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