Trump crosses into North Korea in historic meeting with Kim at DMZ | World Defense

Trump crosses into North Korea in historic meeting with Kim at DMZ

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Trump crosses into North Korea in historic meeting with Kim at DMZ
June 30, 2019
By Thomas Maresca
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U.S. President Donald Trump (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un cross the Military Demarcation Line into the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, which separates the two Koreas, on Sunday. Trump became the first sitting U.S. president to step onto North Korean soil. Photo by Yonhap

SEOUL, June 30 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump met Kim Jong Un at the DMZ and stepped across the border into North Korea on Sunday afternoon, marking the first time a sitting U.S. president has set foot on North Korean soil.

Emerging from a scrum of security service and traveling press, Trump and Kim met at the military demarcation line, a low concrete ridge in the truce village of Panmunjom that marks the border between North and South.

They shook hands and chatted briefly before Kim invited Trump to cross into the North, where they shook hands and posed for photos.

The two then crossed to the other side of the border, where South Korean President Moon Jae-in was waiting for them.

Answering questions from reporters, Kim noted said that the meeting was an expression of Trump's willingness to "eliminate the unfortunate past" the countries share and work towards a "new future."

President Trump called stepping across the border a "great honor," and said that his personal relationship with the North Korean leader helped set the stage for the historic meeting.

"We met and we liked each other from day one, and that was very important," said Trump, who thanked Kim for agreeing to the meeting under "very quick notice."

Trump added that he "would invite [Kim] to the White House right now."

The two leaders then headed into the Freedom House on the South Korean side of Panmunjom for a private discussion, the third time the leaders have met.

Trump said Saturday that he would be willing to step across the border into North Korea if he met with Kim at the DMZ.

"I would feel very comfortable doing that," Trump said. "I would have no problem."

Panmunjom is where the armistice that halted the 1950-1953 Korean War was signed. It has yet to be replaced by a peace treaty, meaning the war has not technically ended.

Some 28,500 American troops are still stationed in South Korea and the 160-mile-long, 2.5-mile-wide DMZ remains one of the most heavily fortified areas in the world, with troops and guard stations on both sides of the border and an estimated one million landmines inside.

 
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