In a Saturday morning tweet from the annual meeting of world leaders, Trump extended an invitation to Kim to meet at the Korean Peninsula’s demilitarized zone and shake hands, noting that he would be in Seoul by the evening ahead of a meeting with President Moon Jae-in.
“If Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello,” he wrote from Japan.
Trump was scheduled to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Chinese President Xi Jinping on Saturday before flying to South Korea.
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
Later Saturday, Trump suggested that his invitation to the dictator was a spur-of-the-moment decision and said he put out the “feeler” to strengthen his already-warm friendship with Kim.
“I just thought of it this morning,” he told reporters in Japan, The Washington Post reported.
“I just put out a feeler because I don’t know where he is right now. He may not be in North Korea,” Trump also said, according to CNN. “I said if Chairman Kim would want to meet, I’ll be at the border. We seem to get along really well. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing. For the stupid people who say, ‘Oh, he gets along,’ it’s good to get along.”
Trump suggested the meeting with Kim could be as short as two minutes if it were to take place.
“I let him know, and we’ll see,” he said. “We’ll see each other for two minutes. That’s all we can. But that will be fine.”
Trump describes his tweet suggesting a DMZ meeting with Kim Jong-un as a spontaneous idea. "I just thought of it this morning."
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) June 28, 2019
Despite Trump’s offer, a senior Trump administration official told the Post that there were no plans for Trump to meet with Kim on his way to Seoul.
“The President is there to see President Moon,” said the official, whom the Post did not identify because the individual was not authorized to speak to reporters.
“Of course, they’re going to talk about North Korea and they’re going to talk about the U.S.-South Korea alliance,” the official added. “But, you know, they’ve got a lot of ground to cover in two days. And then he’s coming back to D.C.”
Trump and Kim have become increasingly close, often publicly praising one another, despite failed nuclear negotiations earlier this year.
Just last week, North Korean state-run media claimed that Trump sent Kim a personal letter, described in the report as “excellent.”
Trump had also said last week that he received a “very personal, very warm, very nice letter” from Kim earlier this month and added that North Korea had “tremendous potential” under Kim’s leadership.
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