United States President Donald Trump on Sunday met North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the demilitarised zone between South and North Korea, AFP reported.
After shaking hands with Kim at the DMZ, Trump walked several steps into North Korean territory, becoming the first US president to do so. After another handshake, the two men crossed back into South Korean territory.
“It’s a great day for the world and it’s an honour for me to be here,” Trump said. “A lot of great things are happening.”
Trump said he has invited Kim Jong-un to visit the US “when the time is right”, reported The Guardian. He said new teams will be set up to take forward negotiations on Pyongyang’s nuclear programme “over the next two or three weeks” for talks. The two sides will “start a process and we’ll see what happens”, Trump said.
Earlier in the day, South Korean President Moon Jae-in had said that Trump will meet Kim at the demilitarised zone on Sunday, The Korea Times reported. Moon said Kim had accepted Trump’s invitation to meet when the US president visits the Korean border village of Panmunjom.
Moon praised the two leaders for “being so brave” as to arrange a meeting. ‘’I hope President Trump will go down in history as the president who achieves peace on Korean Peninsula,” he added.
“The leaders of the US and North Korea will have a handshake for peace standing at Panmunjom, the symbol of division,” Moon said according to AFP.
On Saturday, Trump had said he was open to meeting Kim while on a trip to Seoul in South Korea this weekend. North Korea said Trump’s invitation was “interesting”.
“After some very important meetings, including my meeting with President Xi [Jinping] of China, I will be leaving Japan for South Korea (with President Moon [Jae-in]),” Trump tweeted from Osaka in Japan, where he is attending the G20 summit. “While there, if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ [demilitarised zone] just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!”
Trump had said at a news conference that he would have no problem being the first US president to cross the border into North Korea.
In March, North Korea had promised further negotiations on its nuclear weapons with the United States despite both countries failing to reach a deal at the Hanoi summit in Vietnam. Talks between Trump and Kim in Vietnam had abruptly ended following a disagreement over sanctions imposed on North Korea.
US press secretary injured in scuffle
White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham received bruises as a scuffle broke out between reporters and North Korean security guards, AP reported. The incident happened as reporters tried to enter a room inside the Freedom House on the southern side of Panmunjom where Trump and Kim Jong-Un were meeting.
Grisham reportedly pushed back against the guards in order to help US mediapersons position themselves to cover the historic moment between the two leaders, according to Fox News. North Korean guards tried to physically prevent members of the US press pool from entering the room. They allegedly pushed and shoved media personnel.