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Trump tries to work out the historic Kim meeting in the DMZ



  Donald Trump and Moon Jae-in meet in South Korea

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EPA

Caption

US President Donald Trump and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met for talks

President Trump says he still hopes to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un when he visits the fortified strip that separates the two of Korea shortly.

He told a banquet in South Korea that he was still trying to set up a meeting in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).

He invited Kim in a seemingly spontaneous tweet from the G20 summit in Japan on Saturday.

North Korea described the offer as interesting but did not say whether Mr. Kim would accept it.

Mr. Trump is in South Korea to discuss the dwindling negotiations over denuclearization and trade with North Korea DMZ with its South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in.

A meeting with Mr. Kim would be a symbolic encounter typical of Mr. Trump's unusual diplomatic style.

So far, two summits ̵

1; in Singapore and Vietnam – have not bridged the differences over North Korea's nuclear ambitions.

A third meeting of the two in the DMZ would, according to commentators, have a long-lasting resonance, but minimal impact on the progress of the denuclearization talks.

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Media Title Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un: From Enemy to Enemy.

Mr Trump has not confirmed that Mr Kim will be there. [more] "Visiting the DMZ."

North Korea described the offer as "a very interesting proposition," but underlined that it had received no official request.

Trump is expected to be in the DMZ at 2.30 pm GMT

What did Mr. Trump say?

At a banquet with South Korean business leaders, Mr. Trump repeated his desire to "say hello" to Mr. Kim in the DMZ and said both sides were trying to work it out, " but it was not so easy.

"I understand that they want to meet," he said. "It will be very short, but that's fine, a handshake means a lot," he added.

Earlier on Sunday, he said he had "no problem" gaining a foothold on North Korean territory to meet Mr. Kim.

He would be the first US president to cross the DMZ, a 4 km wide and 241 km long strip that has divided the peninsula since the end of the Korean War in 1953.

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AFP

Caption

South Korean soldier guards the truce village Panmunjom in the DMZ

None of his predecessors made it, including Bill Clinton, who once called the DMZ the "scariest place in the world."

It was Mr. Trump's seemingly wacky tweet that sparked anticipation of a possible third face encounter between the pair.

"If the chairman of North Korea, Kim, sees this, I would meet him at the border / DMZ just to shake hands with him and say hello (?)!" Tweeted Trump from Osaka.

What are the relations between North Korea and the US?

Relations have deteriorated somewhat since Trump and Kim met in Hanoi, Vietnam. The summit – the second to Singapore in June 2018 – ended abruptly without agreement on North Korea's progress towards denuclearization.

Mr. Trump has repeatedly insisted that North Korea must reduce its nuclear arsenal before economic sanctions can be lifted.

At the Hanoi summit in North Korea, it has been risked to anger the Trump administration by testing several short-range missiles.

But Mr. Trump, who once threatened North Korea with "fire and rage", recently struck a more conciliatory tone on Mr. Kim as a "very smart guy" and he expected that "many good things" would come from North Korea. Last week, Mr. Trump – who this month said North Korea under Mr. Kim's leadership had "tremendous potential" – sent a personal letter to the North Korean leader whose contents Mr. Kim praised as "excellent".


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