President of the United States, Donald Trump, has invited North Korean, leader, Kim Jong-un, to meet him at the fortified area that divides North and South Korea.
President Trump on Twitter he could “shake [Mr Kim’s] hand and say hello” during his visit 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(?)!” President Trump tweeted.
The US president has arrived in South Korea to discuss the flagging North Korea denuclearisation talks.
President Trump – who is visiting South Korea after attending the G20 summit in Japan – conceded that the he and Kim could see each other only “for two minutes”,
If President Trump and Chairman Kim were to see each other at the demilitarised zone (DMZ), it would be their third meeting in just over a year, and their first since a summit in Vietnam broke down in February.
However, despite the apparent lack of any diplomatic preparation, some have suggested another face-to-face meeting between the pair could help reset relations and set the scene for future talks.
Meanwhile, North Korea has described it as a “very interesting suggestion”.
Speaking a few hours after the US President’s tweet, North Korea’s first vice-minister for foreign affairs, Choe Son Hui, said in a statement: “We see it as a very interesting suggestion, but we have not received an official proposal in this regard.”
Such a meeting, it added, “would serve as another meaningful occasion in further deepening the personal relations between the two leaders and advancing the bilateral relations”.
It remains unclear whether US officials were briefed in advance about his overture to the North Korean leader, and South Korea’s presidency said nothing was yet confirmed.
Relations between the United States and North Korea has been virtually non-existent until President Trump decided to meet with Chairman Kim at their first summit in Singapore.
Their second summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, ended abruptly without agreement on North Korea’s progress towards denuclearisation.
The US president has repeatedly insisted that North Korea must dismantle its nuclear arsenal before economic sanctions can be lifted.