June 30, 2019
On Sunday, President Donald Trump met with Chairman Kim Jong Un at the DMZ after having invited the North Korean leader to the meeting via Twitter.
“Good to see you again. I never expected to meet you at this place,” Kim said to Trump through an interpreter as the two leaders shook hands.
Trump asked Kim if he should step over the border to North Korean soil, and Kim invited him to cross over, saying that he would be the first sitting U.S. president to do so. Trump crossed the line and shared a short walk into the North Korean side before stopping to clap and shake hands and face reporters on the South Korean side.
Afterwards, the two stepped into the South Korean side, where the North Korean leader said to reporters, “I believe this is an expression of his [Trump’s] willingness to eliminate all the unfortunate past and open a new future.”
Initially announced as a short meeting where Trump “would meet him [Kim] at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello,” the two leaders ended up talking for almost an hour for a sit-down discussion in the Freedom House, located on the South Korean side of the DMZ.
Trump and Kim were briefly joined by South Korean President Moon Jae-In.
In a statement to the press, Kim said his meeting with Trump was a symbol of their “excellent” relationship.
In turn, Trump called their relationship “particularly great” and that it was a “great day for the world” and that he was “proud to step over the line” into North Korea.
The two leaders agreed to restart stalled nuclear talks, with negotiators from both countries set to meet in the next weeks. Trump told reporters that he was “not looking for speed [but] looking to get it right.”
He said that sanctions on North Korea would remain in place though he seemed willing to ease them as part of the talks. He also said that he invited Kim to visit him in Washington, D.C.
As he departed South Korea, Trump tweeted praise for the meeting: “Leaving South Korea after a wonderful meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un. Stood on the Soil of North Korea, an important statement for all, and a great honor!”
Leaving South Korea after a wonderful meeting with Chairman Kim Jong Un. Stood on the soil of North Korea, an important statement for all, and a great honor!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 30, 2019
On Saturday, Trump tweeted an invitation to Kim to meet him at the DMZ between the two Koreas to “shake” hands and “say hello,” following his departure from the G20 summit in Japan.
After some very important meetings, including my meeting with President Xi of China, I will be leaving Japan for South Korea (with President Moon). 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(?)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2019
– MK. II