Donald Trump suggests Demilitarised Zone for North Korea meeting

Donald Trump has floated the idea of holding his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the Demilitarised Zone that divides the Koreas.

Donald Trump suggests Demilitarised Zone for North Korea meeting

Donald Trump has floated the idea of holding his planned summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in the Demilitarised Zone that divides the Koreas.

That is where South Korean President Moon Jae-in met Mr Kim on Friday, the first time a North Korean leader has travelled south of the demarcation line that divides the rival nations.

“There’s something that I like about it because you are there, you are actually there,” Mr Trump said at a news conference in the White House Rose Garden.

“If things work out there’s a great celebration to be had on the site, not in a third-party country.”

A Trump-Kim meeting would be the first US-North Korean leadership summit in more than six decades of hostility since the 1950-53 Korean War.

Mr Trump has previously said that five locations were being considered, but on Friday said the choice had been narrowed to two or three.

Monday was the first time he had publicly specified potential locations for the meeting, slated for May or early June. He added that Singapore was also in the running.

There has been rampant speculation since Mr Trump accepted the offer from Mr Kim for direct talks on where would be an acceptable venue to both sides.

Countries in Europe, south-east Asia, and Mongolia or even a ship in international waters have all been suggested as possible venues.

Mr Trump on Monday made it sound like governments were vying to play host.

“Everybody wants us. It has the chance to be a big event,” the president said.

“The United States has never been closer to potentially have something happen with respect to the Korean peninsula that can get rid of the nuclear weapons, can create so many good things, so many positive things, and peace and security for the world,” he said.

True to form, he had first aired his thoughts on the summit venue in the early morning on Twitter, suggesting the Peace House and Freedom House on the southern side of the DMZ would be a “Representative, Important and Lasting site”.

On Friday he claimed credit for the inter-Korean summit, which has spurred hopes of peace on the Korean peninsula after a torrid 2017 when North Korea rapidly advanced its development of nuclear weapons and ballistic missiles.

Donald Trump has praised Kim Jong Un (Korea Summit Press Pool/AP)

Donald Trump has praised Kim Jong Un (Korea Summit Press Pool/AP)

On Monday he repeated his complimentary appraisal of North Korea’s current dictator, whom just a few months ago he lampooned as “Little Rocket Man” when fears of war ran high.

“Maybe a lot of things change, but Kim Jong Un … has been very open and very straightforward so far,” Mr Trump said.

“I can only say again so far, but he’s talking about getting rid of the site, which was their big site, he’s talking about no research, no launches of ballistic missiles, no nuclear testing and he’s lived up to that for a long period of time.”

Mr Trump sounded confident that the summit would take place and would be a success, but left open the possibility of pulling the plug on talks, saying: “If it’s not a success, I will respectfully leave.”

- Press Association

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