Trump reciprocates after North Korea's Kim says he's open to third summit

Doan Thi Huong

"As soon as North Korea is ready, I hope the two Koreas will be able to sit down together, regardless of venue and form", Moon told a meeting with his top aides.

A Vietnamese woman accused of killing the half-brother of North Korea's dictator will be freed from a Malaysian prison on May 3, according to her lawyer.

Kim Jong-un may hold his first-ever summit with Russian President Vladimir Putin as early as next week.

"In his speech after being re-elected as the State Affairs Commission chairman, Kim once again declared his strong determination for the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and the establishment of peace", Moon said. He hailed Kim's willingness to talk with the United States, vowing to help resume dialogue between the DPRK and the United States.

"Dear Mister Kim Jong Un, please accept my honest congratulations on your re-election as the chairman of the State Affairs Commission of the DPRK [Democratic People's Republic of Korea]".

Moon said Trump was supportive of his plan for an inter-Korean summit when they met in Washington last week.

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"Anyway, we will wait for a bold decision from the USA with patience till the end of this year, but I think it will definitely be hard to get such a good opportunity as the previous summit", he added, underscoring a deadline of sorts for the Trump administration.

"I agree with Kim Jong Un of North Korea that our personal relationship remains very good, perhaps the term excellent would be even more accurate, and that a third Summit would be good in that we fully understand where we each stand", Trump posted to Twitter.

With Kim urging the United States in the speech to change its tough stance in nuclear talks by the end of this year, political slogans in public spaces made no mention of the country's ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs.

But there are fears in Seoul that the hopeful developments of 2018 could be undone because of the mismatched demands between Washington and Pyongyang over sanctions relief and disarmament, which have derailed a high-stakes Trump-Kim meeting and prolonged a stalemate in negotiations.

Moon's office did not provide a timeline on when his fourth summit with Kim might take place.

Putin congratulated Kim on Friday on his re-election as head of the North Korean State Affairs Commission and confirmed his readiness to cooperate on pressing regional matters.

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