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Trump becomes first sitting US President to enter North Korea

US President Donald Trump steps into the northern side of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, as North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un looks on. (PHOTO/AGENCIES)

PYONGYANG – US President Trump on weekend shook hands with North Korean President Kim Jong Un as they met at the demilitarized zone that has divided the Korean peninsula for 66 years, signaling a willingness to restart nuclear talks in a remarkable, impromptu meeting that appeared to come together in less than 48 hours.

Their 53-minute get-together did not include substantive negotiations, but the imagery alone was historic: An American president met Kim on his own literal turf.

Kim, who greeted Trump in English and made him aware that he’s the first sitting U.S. president to visit his country, called it “a historic moment” and “a very courageous and determined act.”

Trump, after taking 18 steps into North Korea before stopping and turning back, said that “stepping across that line was a great honor.” About their hastily arranged meeting, he said: “That was very quick notice and I want to thank you.”

After their handshake and words of praise for one another before the press, Trump and Kim did sit down for a private meeting inside the House of Freedom on the South Korean side.

Summary

– Donald Trump has invited Kim Jong-un to visit the US during talks at Korean peninsula’s demilitarised zone after he became the first American president to step onto North Korean soil.

– The meeting was organised yesterday, both leaders confirmed after Trump tweeted Kim Jong-un suggesting they meet and “say Hello(?)!” while Trump was in the region for the G20 summit in Osaka.

– Trump travelled to the DMZ with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in, while the three had an hour-long tri-lateral meeting at Peace House.

–  Trump said the meeting was “very historic” and criticised those who said that nothing had been come about from his two summits with Kim, which occurred last June and earlier this year.

– Trump announced that new teams would be set up by the three parties to the negotiations. Asked by journalists if he believed that North Korea’s previous negotiators were still alive, he replied: “I think so.”

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