UPDATE : 2018.11.21 WED 19:41
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Kim expresses strong will for Trump summit, agrees to hold inter-Korean talks on June 1: KCNA

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has voiced his "fixed will" on talks with U.S. President Donald Trump during his latest summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, Pyongyang's state media said Sunday.

During their surprise summit on Saturday, the leaders of the two Koreas also agreed to meet frequently in the future and hold high-level talks between the two countries on June 1, the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCN) reported.

The second inter-Korean summit in a month was held in secret at the truce village of Panmunjom as Moon has been scrambling to salvage the U.S.-North Korea summit which was initially set to take place on June 12 in Singapore.

Trump canceled it on Thursday citing "tremendous anger and open hostility" from the communist regime, only to suggest later that it may go ahead after the North issued a conciliatory statement.

Moon plans to announce the outcome of his summit with Kim at 10 a.m. on Sunday.

"Kim Jong-un thanked Moon Jae-in for much effort made by him for the DPRK-U.S. summit scheduled for June 12, and expressed his fixed will on the historic DPRK-U.S. summit talks," the KCNA reported in its English language dispatch monitored in Seoul. DPRK stands for the North's official name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.

"Kim Jong-un told Moon Jae-in to positively cooperate with each other as ever to improve the DPRK-U.S. relations and establish mechanism for permanent and durable peace," it added.

This photo, provided by Pyongyang's Korean Central News Agency, shows South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un before their summit at the border truce village of Panmunjom on May 26, 2018. For Use Only in the Republic of Korea. No Redistribution. (Yonhap)

The potentially historic meeting between Trump and Kim was on the verge of collapse amid growing distrust between the two sides.

Pyongyang apparently felt uneasy about Washington's reported demand for a swift, stringent and unilateral denuclearization, while it favors a "phased, synchronous" approach that has been criticized as an attempt to string out negotiations and wring out more concessions.

The reclusive state was also seen increasingly unnerved as it thought it had made a series of unrequited denuclearization gestures such as a freeze on nuclear and long-range missile tests, and last week's dismantling of its only known nuclear test site, observers said.

At Saturday's talks, the two leaders also agreed to reinstate high-level inter-Korean meeting, which was slated for May 16 but was abruptly cancelled by the North on the day. Pyongyang took issue with the two-week combined air drills between Seoul and Washington that ended Friday.

"The top leaders of the North and the South agreed to hold the North-South high-level talks on coming June 1 and further accelerate the talks of various fields including the ones of military authorities and Red Cross," the KCNA reported.

The two leaders agreed to "meet frequently in the future to make dialogue brisk and pool wisdom and efforts, expressing their stand to make joint efforts for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula," it said.

The KCNA said that Moon and Kim also had "in-depth" discussions on the implementation of the Panmunjom Declaration adopted after their first summit held last month.

During their meeting on April 27, they confirmed a shared goal of the "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula and agreed to push for an official end to the 1950-53 Korean War and a peace treaty. The two Koreas also agreed to halt all hostile acts on land, sea and air and enhance cross-border cooperation.

"Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in shared the view that the two sides should trust and take care of with each other and exert joint efforts to make sure that the Panmunjom Declaration reflecting the unanimous desire of all Koreans is implemented at an early date," the KCNA said. (Yonhap)

Lee Sam-sun  edt@koreapost.com

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