Trump offers to meet Kim Jong Un at demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea – CNBC
President Donald Trump has offered to meet North Korea’s Kim Jong Un at the demilitarized zone that separates the communist dictatorship from South Korea, after he wraps up talks at the G-20 summit in Japan.
Trump said he would meet with Kim at the border between the North and South “just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!”
North Korea responded on Saturday, saying the proposal was “a very interesting suggestion,” but added that Pyongyang had not received an official proposal, according toÂ the official KCNA news agency.
The country’s first Vice ForeignÂ Minister Choe Son Hui reportedly said: “I am of the view that if the DPRK-U.S. summit meetings take place on the division line, as is intended by President Trump, it would serve as another meaningful occasion in further deepening the personal relations between the two leaders and advancing the bilateral relations.” DPRK refers to North Korea’sÂ official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.
President Trump is currently in Japan for the G-20 summit, where he plans to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping to discuss trade tensions between Beijing and Washington. He is scheduled to visit South Korea after the summit.
Before setting off for Asia, Trump sent a letter to Kim. The White House confirmed that correspondence between the two leaders was ongoing, despite the collapse of talks at a summit in Vietnam in February.
According to North Korean state media, Kim said the letter “is of excellent content” and that he would “seriously contemplate its interesting content.”
No details were provided by the White House or North Korea about the content of that letter.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, however, said U.S.-North Korea relations were in a “better place” and expressed hope that working level talks with Pyongyang can begin again soon.
“I’m hopeful that this will provide a good foundation for us to begin to continue these important discussions with the North Koreans to denuclearize the peninsula,” Pompeo said last weekend.
Trump has met face-to-face with Kim at two summits, first in Singapore and most recently in Vietnam, in an effort to get North Korea to abandon its nuclear weapons program.
The Vietnam summit ended without an agreement after the two sides were unable to bridge their differences. North Korea had sought an end to sanctions while Trump reportedly passed a note to Kim demanding that he turn over his nukes.
After the failed summit in Vietnam, North Korea started test firing missiles again. White House national security advisor John Bolton said Pyongyang had violated a U.N. Security Council resolution.
Trump, however, downplayed those tests and expressed confidence the two sides could still reach a deal, saying that Kim would not break his promises.