Donald Trump became the first sitting US president to step onto North Korean soil on Jun 30, 2019, as he met North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ) dividing the Korean peninsula.
This came after South Korean President Moon Jae-in has announced that North Korea’s Kim Jong- Un has accepted the invitation to meet U.S President Donald Trump the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the North and South.
Earlier, Moon stated that even a handshake and brief encounter between Trump and Kim “would be a significant milestone in the peace process on the Korean peninsula”.
He added that he could “really feel that the flower of peace was truly blossoming on the Korean peninsula.”
Moon praised the two leaders for agreeing to the meeting:
“I hope President Trump will go down in history as the President who achieves peace on Korean Peninsula.”
Trump tempered down expectations about his meeting with the North Korean leader:
“(The meeting would) be very short. Virtually a handshake, but that’s OK. A handshake means a lot.
“I am looking forward to [the meeting] very much … he understands me and I think I maybe understand him. We have a very good relationship, the two of us.
“It’s just a step. It might be an important step and it might not, but what we are doing today is a step and probably it’s a step in the right direction.
“There’s a good feeling so it could be very good. As far as another meeting let’s see what happens today before we start thinking about that. But it could be very important.”
The invitation has been regarded in the diplomatic arena as an impulsive display of showmanship by a President bent on obtaining a legacy-defining nuclear deal.
North Korea responded by calling the offer a “very interesting suggestion.”
Before heading to Japan, the U.S President was not certain if Kim would be in North Korea to accept the invitation.
“All I did is put out a feeler, if you’d like to meet,” Trump said in Japan. He added, somewhat implausibly: “I just thought of it this morning.”
The impromptu meeting would make Donald Trump the first sitting U.S President to step into North Korea.
Now the meeting has occurred, we will have to see how the relationship between Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un develops in the context of South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s statements.