Trump First President To Cross Into North Korea In Meeting With Kim
With happy faces and grins for the camera’s, the two leaders, President Trump, and North Morea’s Kim Jong Un met at the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone on Sunday, agreed to go back to the table and resume talks on North Korea’s nuclear program. Trump became the first sitting president to step into North Korea.
This was only to be a quick meeting between the two, an exchange of pleasantries and a handshake, it turned instead into a 50-minute session, another historic first between the two nations. It brought on a return to face to face contact between the two, two countries still technically at war. It was the first face-to-face contact between the two since Trump called off the Vietnam meeting in February.
The encounter was a made-for-television moment. The two men strode towards one another from opposite sides of the joint security area, shook hands over the raised patch of concrete at the Military Demarcation Line, as the camera’s clicked and photographers fought to get the best pic of the scene.
After asking Kim if he wanted him to cross, and receiving an affirmative, Trump took ten steps into the North with Kim at his side, then brought Kim back to the South, they spoke in the Freedom house, then agreed to revive the stalled negotiations.
“I was proud to step over the line,” Trump told Kim as they met in on the South Korean side of the truce village of Panmunjom. “It is a great day for the world.”
Kim hailed the moment, saying of Trump, “I believe this is an expression of his willingness to eliminate all the unfortunate past and open a new future.” Kim added that he was “surprised” when Trump issued an unorthodox meeting invitation by tweet on Saturday.
Trump tweeted as he left South Korea on his flight back to Washington, he had “a wonderful meeting” with Kim. “Sood on the soil of North Korea, an important statement for all, and a great honor!”
Trump predicted that the two would have a short greet, about two minutes, but surprised everyone when they ended up meeting for more than an hour together. He was joined in his meeting with Kim by his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka and Jared Kushner.
Talks between the two sides had broken down since the Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi; this ended early when they could not resolve an impasse.
At that time the two sides had split over the U.S. demand that the North give up its nukes, and that “complete, verifiable, and irreversible denuclearization” takes place before sanctions are lifted.
Trump told the reporters, “we’re not looking for speed. We’re looking to get it right!” This was after he had announced that there would be resumptions of talks between the two sides.
He did further clarify that sanctions would remain in place, but seemed to soften his tone on the previous rejection of scaled back sanctions as North Korean concessions are made, “At some point during negotiations things can happen.”
Trump did tell reporters he had invited the North Korean leader to the US, even a potential visit in the White House.
“I would invite him right now,” Trump said, standing next to Kim. Speaking through a translator, Kim responded that it would be an “honor” to invite Trump to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang “at the right time.”