Donald Trump, the US president, will arrive in Seoul on Saturday to attempt to shift up a gear on North Korean nuclear disarmament talks that are firmly stuck in neutral.
The two-day visit an opportunity for Mr Trump to strategise with Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president, after his summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, in February with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un failed to make progress over the dismantling of Pyongyang’s nuclear and weapons programme.
Mr Trump is also said to be considering a visit to the heavily fortified demilitarised zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas, which was once dubbed “the scariest place on earth” by former US President Bill Clinton.
The plan prompted speculation this week that the US president may try to arrange an impromptu meeting with Kim Jong-un to revive the moribund negotiations. However, South Korean and US officials have sought to downplay any expectations of a surprise rendezvous.
President Trump also dismissed the idea while speaking to reporters on his flight to this week’s G20 meeting in Japan, but added cryptically that: “I may be speaking to him in a different form.”