SEOUL (Reuters) – U.S. President Donald Trump mentioned on Sunday he and North Korean chief Kim Jong Un each wish to meet on the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the 2 Koreas later within the day, elevating hopes for an encounter that might jump-start stalled nuclear talks.
U.S. President Donald Trump speaks to South Korean enterprise leaders on the Hyatt Lodge, Sunday, June 30, 2019, in Seoul, South Korea. Jacquelyn Martin/Pool through REUTERS
Trump arrived in Seoul late on Saturday for talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in after attending the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, throughout which he made a shock, spur-of-the-moment provide to satisfy Kim.
If Trump and Kim meet, it will be for the third time in simply over a 12 months, and 4 months since their second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam broke down.
“Properly we’ll see. He very a lot needs to,” Trump mentioned when requested by a reporter whether or not Kim would meet him on the DMZ afterward Sunday when Trump is scheduled to go to the closely armed border.
“They’re attempting to work it out. We each wish to do it,” he mentioned after a gathering with South Korean enterprise leaders together with the heads of Samsung, Hyundai Motor, Lotte, SK and Poongsan teams.
“It’s going to be very quick, just about a handshake. However that’s OK. A handshake means lots.”
He mentioned he and Kim had a “good relationship” however there was nonetheless a protracted solution to go to achieve an settlement that will finish the North’s nuclear program in return for an finish to sanctions and everlasting peace on the Korean peninsula.
North Korea has pursued nuclear and missile applications for years in defiance of U.N. Safety Council resolutions, and easing tensions with North Korea is among the U.S. President’s high international coverage priorities.
Trump made the provide to satisfy in a message on Twitter about his go to to South Korea.
“Whereas there, if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I’d meet him on the Border/DMZ simply to shake his hand and say Good day(?)!” Trump wrote.
‘VERY INTERESTING SUGGESTION’
In response, state information company KCNA quoted a senior North Korean official a number of hours later saying it was a “very fascinating suggestion” and could be a “significant event,” however that North Korea had not acquired an official proposal.
Moon advised Trump throughout a dinner on Saturday that such a gathering could be an “historic occasion.” However even when it didn’t happen, Moon mentioned, the provide would have a “vital consequence” as a result of Trump confirmed sincerity to Kim.
Trump needed to go to the DMZ throughout a 2017 go to to South Korea, however heavy fog prevented it. Kim and Moon held their historic first summit within the zone final 12 months, which preceded the U.S.-North Korean assembly in Singapore.
Moon has championed efforts to finish the hostilities between North Korea and the US, vowing to play a mediator position in nudging Pyongyang into giving up its nuclear weapons in trade for sanctions reduction and safety ensures.
Moon’s press secretary mentioned late on Saturday assembly between Trump and Kim could be a “essential likelihood” to reinvigorate the talks. Moon mentioned at his assembly with Trump on Sunday he would go along with Trump to the border.
The Joint Safety Space, with its cluster of distinctive vibrant blue buildings, has a checkered historical past of defections, pressure and demise. In 1976, axe-wielding North Korean troopers murdered two American troopers who had been chopping down a poplar tree there to safe a transparent view.
Trump, talking at a information convention in Japan on Saturday, mentioned he could be “very snug” stepping throughout the border into North Korea, as Moon did briefly final 12 months.
Some South Korean analysts mentioned one other Trump-Kim encounter would do little to advance progress on denuclearization.
“Trump is attempting to get a free hand in controlling peace on the Korean peninsula along with his tweets and we will’t let that occur,” mentioned Kim Dong-yup of Kyungnam College’s Institute for Far Jap Research in Seoul. “It’s a method and approach he adopted to take care of those that are in a weak place in negotiations, and that’s for home politics.”
Reporting by Hyonhee Shin and Robert Rampton; Modifying by Jack Kim and Sam Holmes