President Donald Trump says he’s willing to meet North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un this weekend if he travels to the highly fortified Korean Demilitarized Zone.
“After some very important meetings, including my meeting with President Xi of China, I will be leaving Japan for South Korea (with President Moon),” Trump tweeted Saturday morning from Japan.
“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(?)!” Trump added.
Trump is due to arrive in Seoul, South Korea, on Saturday evening, and is scheduled for talks with the South Korean President on Sunday before returning to Washington.
During a brief spray with reporters Saturday, Trump said he “put out a feeler” to Kim for a potential handshake on the DMZ in order to advance their warm friendship.
“All I did was put out a feeler if he’d like to meet,” Trump told reporters in Japan, where he is meeting with leaders on the sidelines of the G20. “He sent me a very beautiful birthday card.”
Trump said he wasn’t sure whether the meeting would materialize but expressed confidence in his diplomatic opening with North Korea was already yielding results.
“I just put out a feeler because I don’t know where he is right now. He may not be in North Korea,” Trump said. “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 get along.”
“Frankly, if I didn’t become president, you’d be having a war right now with North Korea,” Trump said.
“I will be in South Korea. I let him know, and we’ll see. We’ll see each other for two minutes. That’s all we can. But that will be fine,” Trump said.
The President was considering a visit to the DMZ, a South Korean official told CNN last week. He last attempted to visit the border zone during a visit to Seoul in 2017, but plans were scrapped due to heavy fog.
Trump’s last summit meeting with Kim collapsed when the two sides could not agree on terms for curbing North Korea’s nuclear program in exchange for sanctions relief.
Since then, talks have been sporadic between Washington and Pyongyang. But there have been glimmers of progress in a letter exchange between Kim and Trump, including birthday greetings for the US President earlier this month.
By Kevin Liptak and Allie Malloy, CNN