Trump Makes History: Restarts Nuclear Talks and Steps Foot in North Korea
On Sunday, President Donald Trump, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met and held talks at the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ).
President Trump and Kim Jong-un agreed to restart working-level discussions toward denuclearization, after the second Hanoi summit was deemed to have ended in failure in February when the two leaders could not agree on a specific way to accomplish that goal.
At around 3:45 PM local time, North Korean leader Kim and President Trump met and shook hands at the military demarcation line (MDL), which is the line dividing the two Koreas.
President Trump then proceeded to cross over into North Korean territory, effectively becoming the first sitting U.S. President in history to have stepped foot in North Korea.
When President Trump crossed over into the North, North Korean leader Kim stated, “President Trump has just walked across the demarcation line. That has made him the first US President to visit our country. Actually just looking at this action, this is an expression of his willingness to eliminate all the unfortunate past and open a new future.”
Following the crossing into North Korean territory, North Korean leader Kim and President Trump crossed over into South Korea, while the DPRK leader thanked President Trump for entering the North.
Afterwards, President Trump, President Moon, and North Korean leader Kim encountered each other briefly in an unprecedented three-way gathering and can all be seen sharing a laugh at the DMZ.
President Trump then held a private bilateral meeting in the Freedom House with DPRK leader Kim, which began with a press conference. Kim Jong-un stated, “This means that we can feel at ease and meet each other with positive mindsets.”
President Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong-un talked for about 50 minutes at the DMZ; President Moon was not present at the meeting. However, Secretary of Treasury Steve Mnuchin, U.S. Special Representative for North Korea Stephen Biegun, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner were all present at the meeting.
President Trump has stated that he would invite North Korean leader Kim to visit him at the White House.
After parting, President Trump stated, “We just had a very, very good meeting with Chairman Kim and we’ve agreed that we’re going to designate a team, and the team will try and work out some deals, and again speed is not the object, we want to see if we can do a really comprehensive good deal.”
Kim Jong-un also added that he and Trump “have created a precedent where we can meet at any time we want without being restrained to venue and format.”
Speaking at a joint news conference with President Trump following the summit, President Moon has stated that the “historical meeting takes place at the bold proposal of President Trump.”
“I would like to express my respect for President Trump’s very bold and creative approach,” he said. “And I believe that the peace process to achieve the complete denuclearization and establish permanent peace on the Korean peninsula crossed a big hill through today’s meeting.”
On his flight back to America, President Trump tweeted, “Leaving South Korea after a wonderful meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un. Stood on the soil of North Korea, an important statement for all, and a great honor!”