The White House said Saturday that a pre-advance team is heading to Singapore in case a much-anticipated summit between President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un goes ahead - the latest sign that the meet-up could be back on despite its cancellation by Trump earlier this week.
Trump's decision to pull out of the summit came just days after he hosted Moon at the White House, where he openly cast doubts on the Singapore meeting but offered no support for continued inter-Korean progress, essentially ignoring the North's recent attempts to coerce the South.
Kim Chang Son, a senior official of North Korea's State Affairs Commission, arrived in Beijing on Thursday, the sources said, adding he may have planned to also visit Singapore to prepare for the recently canceled June 12 summit there.
Moon and Kim held talks at the truce village inside the Demilitarized Zone from 3 p.m.to 5 p.m. and "candidly" discussed ways to implement the declaration that emerged from their historic first meeting on April 27, and how to have a "successful" North Korea-U.S. summit, South Korea's presidential office said.
They're playing with world peace": "What next for US-North Korea relations? "We'd like to do it".
Only last month the two leaders met in the same village, with Kim famously inviting Moon to step briefly into the North before they both held talks in a building on the South's side.
Trump's conciliatory turn followed a statement by Kim's government saying it regretted Trump's action and remained willing to talk.
The U.S. still has 28,000 troops, several bases and defensive anti-missile systems scattered throughout South Korea.
Although he trumpeted America's "massive and powerful" nuclear arsenal in his letter canceling the summit, Trump also thanked Kim for the release of the detainees, described the "wonderful dialogue" they were developing and left open the door for reconciliation.
But the latest developments also exemplified how quickly aspirations for successful talks between North Korea and the US - which remain technically at war - can rise and fall.
Saturday's meeting lacked the fanfare of the first summit, which was broadcast live on TV and included a ceremonial tree planting and a walk in the woods.
The "peace" summit had been billed as an opportunity to encourage denuclearization in the region, as well as a chance to bring North Korea in from the political wilderness.
In Pyongyang, North Korean Vice Foreign Minister Kim Kye Gwan said North Korea's criticisms had been a reaction to American rhetoric and that current antagonism showed "the urgent necessity" for the summit.
USA defence and intelligence officials have repeatedly assessed the North to be on the threshold of having the capability to strike anywhere in the continental United States with a nuclear-tipped missile - a capacity that Mr Trump and other U.S. officials have said they would not tolerate.
Trump scrapped the meeting entirely in a letter to Kim on Thursday, after repeated threats by North Korea to pull out over what it saw as confrontational remarks by US officials demanding unilateral disarmament.
Moon was blindsided by Trump's decision to abruptly announce he was canceling the summit, less a day after returning from meeting in the Oval Office created to keep the momentum in the diplomatic effort.
On Friday, North Korea issued a statement saying it was still "willing to give the U.S. time and opportunities" to reconsider talks "at any time, at any format".