Come say hello: Trump invites Kim to spontaneous DMZ ‘summit’
US President Donald Trump has made an unusual invitation to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un to join him and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the demilitarized zone for a historic meeting.
Trump is still in Osaka, Japan for the G20 summit, but said he will be in South Korea afterwards.
“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(?)!” Trump tweeted out on Saturday morning local time.
The offer is probably not a surprise to Moon, who told reporters earlier this week that “behind-the-scenes talks” were underway to prepare a third summit between the US and North Korean leaders.
North Korea accused Moon of lying, however, with a senior Foreign Ministry official saying that there were no secret channels via the South, and any contacts with the US will be through the already established channels between Pyongyang and Washington.
Meanwhile, Trump and Kim have exchanged private letters, suggesting a willingness to try and make peace in the Korean peninsula after the failure of their most recent summit in Vietnam in February.
The two leaders have already made history by meeting in Singapore last year, after publicly exchanging threats and insults to the point where nuclear war seemed imminent during 2017.
The Korean peninsula has been divided since its liberation from Japan in 1945. The partition was cemented during the Korean War, which drew in the US and China on the opposing sides and resulted in widespread death and destruction. The armistice along the DMZ has held uneasily since 1953.
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The unconventional US president has talked up the potential “phenomenal” future for North Korea, perhaps even reunification with the South and rapid economic development, if Pyongyang agrees to give up its nuclear weapons. North Korea has remained justifiably skeptical, however, since some of Trump’s advisers have suggested a “Libyan model” of disarmament that eventually saw that country destroyed by US-led regime change.
Nor has Washington offered any relief from the severe sanctions against North Korea imposed by the UN at US urging. The Hanoi summit broke down after Pyongyang requested partial sanctions relief for humanitarian reasons, and Trump refused.
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