Speaking at the end of the G20 summit, Trump spoke about previously offering to meet with Kim at the Demilitarized Zone and said he’d feel ‘very comfortable’ crossing into North Korea afterwards.
It would make him the first US president to step foot into the country.
Trump is scheduled to fly to South Korea later today to meet with South Korean president Moon Jae-in for a two-day trip.
Previously, he tweeted out an invitation for Kim-Jong-un to join them at the Korean Demilitarized Zone.
And today, in response to a question on whether he might step into North Korea if the meeting goes ahead, Trump said: ‘Sure I would, I would. I’d feel very comfortable doing that. I’d have no problem.’
Speaking at the G20 summit today, President Trump says he is willing to become the first US president to step into North Korea
President Donald Trump shakes hands with North Korea’s leader Kim Jong Un before their last meeting at the Sofitel Legend Metropole hotel in Hanoi on February 27, 2019
Trump described the offer of meeting Kim as a ‘feeler’ and said he came up with the plan ‘this morning’.
‘I just put out a feeler, because I don’t know where he is right now, he may not be in North Korea,’ Trump said.
North Korea said Saturday Trump’s offer to meet Kim is a ‘very interesting suggestion,’ brightening prospects for a third face-to-face meeting between the two leaders.
The North’s First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said that the meeting, if realized, would serve as ‘another meaningful occasion in further deepening the personal relations between the two leaders and advancing the bilateral relations.’
Choe still said that North Korea hasn’t received an official proposal for the DMZ meeting from the United States. Her comments suggested that North Korea is willing to accept Trump’s idea if it gets a formal U.S. offer for the meeting, according to some observers in Seoul.
Choe’s statement was carried via the North’s official Korean Central News Agency.
However the Hill newspaper reported that Trump said in a Monday interview that he might visit the DMZ and could meet with Kim, but the White House asked them to hold off on publication for security reasons.
Trump’s tweet flashed across screens in the early morning in Japan.
Speaking in Osaka Saturday, Trump described the offer as a ‘feeler.’ He said he came up with the plan ‘this morning’
A South Korean soldier stands guard before the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) at the border truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas
‘After some very important meetings, including my meeting with President Xi of
‘While there, if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!’
Trump said of he and Kim: ‘We seem to get along very well.’ He added: ‘They have not done any nuclear test, they have not done any large scale ballistic missile test.’
Trump’s side trip to Seoul, which begins Saturday evening, had been previously scheduled to follow the conclusion of the G-20, but there had been no public mention of plans to meet with Kim.
It was not immediately clear if there had been additional diplomatic preparations for such a meeting, or whether it was a one-off.
President Trump is set for a two-day visit to South Korea where he will meet President Moon Jae-in (right) to discuss denuclearisation on the Korean peninsula. The President was last welcomed to South Korea in 2017 (pictured)
Trump held up a bevy of world leaders Friday night when he was about an hour late for a cultural event. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo skipped a planned event with other foreign ministers.
Trump fired off the surprise tweet from Osaka, where he has another slate full of meetings, including with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Chinese President Xi Jinping.
His itinerary for Seoul, which begins tonight local time, included space for a possible trip to the DMZ, which Trump publicly confirmed with his tweet.
Before the trip, an administration official refused to confirm such a trip was settled, or that a meeting with Kim Jong-un was in the offing.
The hand shake, if it were to happen, would represent yet another joint meeting between the two men, following their failed summit in Hanoi in February, which was preceded by a historic first summit meeting in Singapore.
Since then, Trump has regularly spoken admiringly of Kim, even sharing during a recent White House interview a letter he received from Kim. He called it ‘beautiful,’ but then threatened to jail photographers who tried to snap the image.
Trump’s first event in Seoul is to be a dinner with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Trump has defended North Korea in recent comments for the launch of a short-range ballistic missile.
The floated encounter follows an exchange of letters with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that boosted hopes for talks aimed at ending North Korea’s nuclear program.
Trump called Kim’s letter, which included birthday wishes for himself, ‘beautiful.’
Trump responded with a letter of his own, which Kim termed ‘interesting’ in a statement that stressed the bond between the two leaders.
North Korea state-run news media KCNA reported that Kim would ‘seriously contemplate the interesting content’ of the letter.
The word of a possible visit to the line that has separated the two countries since a 1953 armistices comes as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed Trump had sent a letter to Kim that he ‘hoped’ could pave the way for a revival of stalled nuclear talks.
An administration official said Monday there were ‘no plans’ for Trump to meet with the North Korean dictator – language that did not rule out the possibility.
Japanese media reported over the weekend that Trump may go to the demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas. He wanted to visit the zone during a 2017 trip to South Korea but heavy fog prevented it.
Last month, on another trip to Japan, Trump gave some slack to Kim, following a missile launch that Trump’s own national security advisor John Bolton said violated UN resolutions.
‘North Korea fired off some small weapons, which disturbed some of my people, and others, but not me,’ Trump tweeted May 26. ‘I have confidence that Chairman Kim will keep his promise to me,’ Trump said.
Trump’s first summit with Kim followed a series of provocative ballistic missile launches and nuclear tests, which have ceased since the meeting. However a joint statement describing shared goals did not spell out what was meant by ‘denuclearization.’