U.S. President Donald Trump said on Friday that his meeting with the top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un will be held on June 12 in Singapore as originally scheduled.
Exerts say the latest development that came after the recent twists and turns concerning the U.S.-DPRK summit has rekindled hope for the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula.
BACK ON TRACK
"We'll be meeting on June 12th in Singapore," Trump told reporters at the White House, in reference to the Trump-Kim summit, following his two-hour meeting with a senior official from Pyongyang who delivered a personal letter from Kim to the U.S. president.
The new twist came after Trump canceled the widely anticipated meeting in a letter to Kim last week, sparking a whirlwind of diplomacy over the weekend to salvage it.
"I think it's probably going to be a very successful, ultimately, a successful process," said Trump at the White House driveway after his talks with Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the DPRK's ruling Workers' Party of Korea Central Committee.
The high-level DPRK official traveled from New York to Washington on Friday after a two-day meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
Trump's letter may have temporarily canceled the summit, but it also demonstrated his continued interest in holding talks, Kyle Ferrier, an analyst for the Washington-based non-profit Korea Economic Institute of America, told Xinhua.
Though uncertain about Trump's letter as a "negotiating tactic" or a "sincere effort" to quit, Ferrier believed that Trump had more to gain from attending the meeting rather than canceling it.
START A PROCESS
In his remarks, Trump also described the on-again, off-again summit as a "get-to-know-you" situation, saying that probably more than one meeting was necessary to achieve the denuclearization after years of "hostility" and "hatred."
"It will be a beginning," Trump said. "I think you're going to have a very positive result in the end."
Meanwhile, Trump floated the possibility of yielding an agreement out of the summit to formally end the 1950-53 Korean war, which was concluded with a truce.
"We're going to discuss it prior to the meeting. That's something that could come out of the meeting," Trump said.
For Richard Haas, the president of Council on Foreign Relations, a New York-based think tank, it was good that Trump "appears to be embracing the idea of summit as the first step of a gradual progress."
Brookings Institution Senior Fellow Darrell West told Xinhua that there are many issues to discuss from denuclearization to international assistance for the DPRK.
"The key thing will be to establish a process by which each side moves a bit and gets rewarded with a parallel action from the other side," West said. "The only agreement that will stick is if it is win-win for everyone involved."
Ferrier called it "a good thing" that the U.S. president, known for his volatility, kept a low tone on the upcoming summit.
"The best result of this summit is that both sides agree to continue to talk through their differences to eventually arrive at a mutually agreed-upon path for North Korea's (DPRK's) nuclear program," the analyst said.
With experts applauding the resumption of the meeting, the verification process of the denuclearization is still seen as a major obstacle for the two sides to reach a deal.
"Trump objected to the checks put in place on the Iran nuclear agreement so he will need something more substantial than was the case there," West said.
Douglas Paal, vice president for studies at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, saw a host of substantive obstacles remaining, including how to handle initial steps to establish goodwill, what issues will require reciprocal actions, how to manage verification, and the scope of denuclearization and missile constraints.
"It is a daunting challenge," Paal added.