DONALD Trump has declared that despot Kim Jong-un wants to meet him at the demilitarised zone (DMZ) on the border of North Korea today.
The US President took to Twitter yesterday to ask Kim to “say hello” and “shake hands” at the border in an attempt to revive stalled nuke talks.
Trump and Kim are seen shaking hands at the summit in Vietnam this year[/caption]
The US President arrived in Seoul on Saturday evening after a series of high-profile meetings at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan[/caption]
The world is now waiting to see whether the North Korean leader will take up the invitation and meet Trump at the heavily fortified armistice line.
Speaking to business leaders today in Seoul, South Korea, Trump said: “I understand they want to meet and I’d love to say hello.”
He says if the meeting materialises it will be “very short, virtually a handshake but that’s okay, a handshake means a lot”.
Trump then added: “Let’s see what happens. They’re trying to work it out.”
Trump met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Blue House[/caption]
North Korea responded by calling the offer a “very interesting suggestion.”
The US President arrived in Seoul on Saturday evening after a series of high-profile meetings at the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan.
Trump met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Blue House, where the leader has his offices and home.
Trump and Moon agreed a meeting on Sunday at the DMZ would be a “good thing.”
That’s according to a South Korean presidential official, Yoon Do-han, who spoke to reporters in Seoul after the two presidents had dinner.
Yoon says Moon talked about Kim’s commitment to denuclearisation, while Trump expressed his “amicable” views on Kim.
Yoon says a Trump-Kim meeting, if it comes off, would help pave the way for the resumption of nuclear diplomacy.
TRUMP’S SOUTH KOREA TRIP
After the dinner, Trump tweeted that he and Moon had “toasted” to their new trade deal.
He described the deal as a “far better one for us than that which it replaced”.
“Today I will visit with, and speak to, our Troops – and also go to the DMZ (long planned). My meeting with President Moon went very well,” Trump added.
While still in Japan, Trump had approached Kim via Twitter in an attempt to set up a meeting.
“I will be leaving Japan for South Korea (with President Moon),” Trump tweeted.
“While there, if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!”
‘I PUT OUT A FEELER’
When asked about the invite in a press conference, Trump reportedly said he “just put out a feeler” because he doesn’t know where Kim is.
“I just thought of it this morning,” Trump declared.
The president has been trying to restart nuclear talks with the North after they broke down during his second summit with Kim earlier this year in Vietnam.
The summit collapsed without an agreed deal for denuclearising the Korean Peninsula.
Washington has said it will only relax crippling economic sanctions against the country if North Korea gives up its nukes and long-range missiles.
But North Korea has said it will only scrap its nuclear weapons after sanctions are lifted entirely.
‘READY FOR NUKE TALKS’
A US special envoy said on Friday the US was ready to hold constructive talks with North Korea to follow through on a denuclearisation agreement reached by the two countries last year.
Stephen Biegun told his South Korean counterpart, Lee Do-hoon, that Washington wanted to make “simultaneous, parallel” progress on the agreement set in Singapore.
Both sides agreed to establish new relations and work towards denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
But negotiations have stalled since a second summit in Vietnam in February collapsed as the two sides failed to narrow differences.
Russian President Vladimir Putin told South Korean President Moon Jae-in at a summit on the sidelines of G20 meeting in Japan that Kim had told him in April security guarantees were key.
He also said that corresponding measures were needed to realise denuclearisation, according to South Korea’s presidential office.
TRUMP TRIP TO SOUTH KOREA
The envoys’ meeting, and Putin’s remarks, took place ahead of Trump’s visit to South Korea this weekend.
During this trip, Trump and President Moon Jae-in are expected to discuss ways to kick-start dialogue with the North.
Reclusive North Korea has pursued nuclear and missile programmes for years in defiance of U.N. Security Council and U.S. sanctions.
“Biegun said the upcoming summit would provide a crucial chance to foster peace and prosperity of the Korean peninsula,” the ministry said.
Lee offered positive views on a recent cordial exchange of letters between Trump and Kim and on Chinese President Xi Jinping’s summit with Kim early this year.
NEUTRAL TERRITORY What is a demilitarised zone?
A DMZ, or demilitarised zone, is an area in which nations or opposing powers agree to keep clear of any military activity.
These zones serve as an important buffer between warring parties and are considered neutral territory.
Arguably the most infamous demilitarised zone acts as a border between North and South Korea.
Following the bloody Korean War, which ended in 1953, the Korean Demilitarised Zone was established after an armistice was signed.
The area is 160 miles long but only 2.5 miles wide.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo raised hopes for a revival of talks after the letters, while Xi told Moon on Thursday that Kim’s resolve for denuclearisation and dialogue remained unchanged.
Biegun also met South Korean Unification Minister Kim Yeon-chul in charge of inter-Korean affairs, during which they vowed utmost efforts to revive nuclear talks, the foreign ministry said.
Moon has said Washington is in behind-the-scenes talks with Pyongyang over a possible third summit and has proposed a fresh round of talks.
But the North said on Thursday the United States had become “more and more desperate in its hostile acts” even as it spoke of dialogue.
MOST READ IN NEWS
North Korea’s state media KCNA on Friday urged the United States and South Korea to scrap their plans to carry out joint military drills in the summer.
The allies have replaced their annual major exercises with smaller-scale programmes following last year’s detente. But Pyongyang sees the drills as a rehearsal for war and demands they be called off.
“This amounts to a wanton challenge to the desire and expectation of all the Koreans and the international community for peace and stability on the Korean peninsula and an act to create the atmosphere of confrontation and danger of war again,” KCNA said in a commentary.
Trump last met Kim in Vietnam in February, but the talks did not result in any agreement[/caption]
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