'Perplexed' South Korea President Moon Jae In says deeply regrets Trump-Kim summit cancellation

South Korean President Moon Jae In was meeting with his foreign minister, defence minister and his chief of staff, among others after US President Donald Trump cancelled his June 12, 2018, meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.
South Korean President Moon Jae In was meeting with his foreign minister, defence minister and his chief of staff, among others after US President Donald Trump cancelled his June 12, 2018, meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

SEOUL (REUTERS) - South Korean President Moon Jae In expressed "deep regret" after US President Donald Trump cancelled his June 12 meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Thursday (May 24), but said the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula should not be delayed.

Mr Moon's comment, reported by Yonhap news agency, came after he held an emergency meeting with his foreign minister, defence minister and his chief of staff, among others.

“I am very perplexed and it is very regrettable that the North Korea-US summit will not be held on June 12 when it was scheduled to be held,” Moon was quoted by Yonhap as saying at a meeting with his top security officials. The report cited the presidential Blue House executive office.. 

Yonhap said Moon urged direct talks between Trump and Kim and said denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula should not be delayed by the decision to call off the summit. 

Mr Trump's abrupt announcement of the summit cancellation late on Thursday appeared to have taken Seoul by surprise. Mr Moon's office earlier said it was seeking to figure out the background of the scrapping of the agreed-upon summit.

"(We) are trying to figure out what President Trump's intention is and the exact meaning of it," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui Kyeom told reporters.