Hopes For Third Trump-Kim Summit Revived Despite Pyongyang Criticism

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Hopes For Third Trump-Kim Summit Revived Despite Pyongyang Criticism

North Korea had originally accused the US of engaging in "hostile acts."

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Hopes for a third summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and US President Donald Trump appeared to be revived Wednesday even after Pyongyang rebuked Washington over "hostility" that "viciously slandered" the country.

The North Korean Foreign Ministry accused the US of engaging in "extreme hostile acts" against their country, specifically calling out Secretary of State Mike Pompeo but sparing Trump from their criticism.

Yet just hours after the statement published, South Korean President Moon Jae-in revealed that the long-time adversaries had been talking "behind the scenes" and "engaged in dialogue in regard to a third summit."

"There's no reason to regard the current situation as a stalemate in the peace process on the peninsula just because the pace has remained slow," Moon said in a written question-and-answer session with several media outlets.

"Complete denuclearization and a permanent peace regime on the peninsula are tasks that cannot be achieved overnight."

Denuclearization talks between North Korea and the US had appeared stalled since the last summit between Trump and Kim ended abruptly in Hanoi without a deal in February.

A recent exchange of letters between the two leaders had revived hope of a breakthrough.

Trump is scheduled to travel to Osaka, Japan, for the G20 summit from Friday, before going to South Korea to meet with Moon. He is reportedly considering a visit to the demilitarized zone that divides the two Koreas, a South Korean government official said.

The North Korean Foreign Ministry statement stopped short of accusing Trump of wrongdoing. It even referred to him as the "supreme leader" of the United States, the same title by which Kim is referred to in the Democratic People's Republic of Korea, as North Korea is officially known.

It came days after Kim said he received an "excellent" personal letter from Trump. It followed one that Kim sent to Trump, which the US President described as "beautiful."

(PHOTO: Saul Loeb/Getty Images)

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