United States President Donald Trump on Monday said he may hold his meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the demilitarised zone at the country’s border with South Korea, rather than in a third-party country. He said he was intrigued at the idea of using the Peace House – a three-storey South Korean building in the border village of Panmunjom – where Kim met South Korean President Moon Jae-in last week.
Kim and Trump are likely to meet in May. “There’s something I like about it [Peace House] because you’re there,” Trump said at a news conference, adding that he had conveyed his interest to Moon Jae-in. “If things work out, there’s a great celebration to be had on site.” His announcement comes weeks after his team tried to find a suitable venue outside the Korean Peninsula for the historic meeting. Geneva, Mongolia and Singapore were some of the third-party options that his team suggested, reported The Washington Post.
Before announcing it to reporters, Trump had mooted the idea on Twitter. “Numerous countries are being considered for the MEETING, but would Peace House/Freedom House, on the Border of North & South Korea, be a more Representative, Important and Lasting site than a third party country? Just asking!” he tweeted on Monday morning.
Tensions between the US and North Korea escalated in 2017 after Pyongyang stepped up its nuclear efforts. Trump had warned North Korea a number of times against boosting its nuclear weapons programme, and the two leaders had frequently traded ridicule, insults and threats.