The surprise visit by Donald Trump to North Korea via the DMZ was underscored by the two leaders extending invitations to each other – apparently President Trump invited Kim Jong un to the White House for their next meeting. The US president has met Mr Kim three times and this meeting at the DMZ, the Demilitarized Zone that separates the North from the South at the 38th parallel was a unplanned stop on the way from Osaka Japan where Mr Trump met President Xi of China to renew trade talks.
After they shook hands a the DMZ the US President stepped over the line marking the separation of the two states and spent a minute with Mr Kim in North Korea exchanging greetings. They then moved to the South Korean side and exchanged greetings there as well. Both leaders expressed their willingness to move forward for, according to Mr Kim, a new future, as they exchanged comments with the press documenting this historic meeting. While the two spoke of reconciliation and progress, Trump said sanctions on the country over its nuclear weapons and missile development would not change – at least for now.
The hurdle that the US and its allies see is the topic of denuclearization and the future of weapons development. With Washington taking the position of North Korea giving up nuclear weapons, and North Korea wanting broader support from the US, at least for now, more talks are needed. The North Korean side wants US troops to leave the Korean peninsula. Today was the first meeting between American and North Korean heads of state at the border since ending the Korean Conflict in 1953. Kim said that the meeting Sunday would be impossible without the “great relationship between us.”
Our Opinion: Some things that Trump does are surprising and odd, but keep in mind that he has coaches behind him and they study world leaders and give the US President advice. What Trump has now done is cemented a solid relationship with Mr Kim, telling him that he has a friend and that he can discuss things directly. North Korean leaders have always known they were a target, a target for the US and South Korea. History spells this out clearly with both threats and actions in the 1960s and 1970s (special forces from both sides have targeted leadership). Now Kim has met Trump three times and will likely feel that there is a safe and personal relationship.