President Trump gave high marks to the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea as an example of a “real border.”
The president made the remarks Friday as he discussed his plans to visit the fortified zone during the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan.
“We may go to the DMZ, or the border, as they call it,” he told reporters of the heavily guarded border that was created following the 1953 armistice ending the Korean War.
“That, by the way — when you talk about a wall, when you talk about a border, that’s what you call a border,” Trump said. “Nobody goes through that border. Just about nobody. That’s called a real border.”
Here are Trump’s full comments regarding a possible DMZ meeting with Kim Jong Un: pic.twitter.com/4VKMmJ47l5
— William Gallo (@GalloVOA) June 29, 2019
Trump spoke about making a visit Sunday to the heavily fortified border, which is defended at all times by thousands of troops, minefields, sensors and fences, just as a federal judge back in the U.S. ruled Friday to block the administration from using billions of dollars in military funds in order to build a wall on the southern border.
The president’s comments at the G20 summit came as he had tweeted that he was willing to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the DMZ “just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!”
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(?)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2019
Trump, who is scheduled for talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Saturday evening after he arrives in Seoul, South Korea, told reporters that he “put out a feeler” to the North Korean dictator on the possibility of a handshake at the border.
“All I did was put out a feeler if he’d like to meet,” Trump said Friday while still in Japan, according to CNN.
“He sent me a very beautiful birthday card,” he added.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 29, 2019
Kim was apparently “very receptive to meeting,” the president told reporters Saturday. “I can’t tell you exactly but they did respond very favorably.”
When asked if he would feel comfortable stepping foot in North Korea at his visit to the DMZ Sunday, the president responded, “Sure I would.”
“I feel very comfortable doing that. I would have no problem,” Trump said.
“I just put out a feeler because I don’t know where he is right now. He may not be in North Korea,” the president said, according to CNN. “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 to get along.”
“Frankly, if I didn’t become president, you’d be having a war right now with North Korea,” he added.
“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.”
North Korea’s first vice minister of foreign affairs responded to Trump’s invitation as an “interesting suggestion.”
“We see it as a very interesting suggestion, but we have not received an official proposal in this regard,” Choe Son Hui said in a statement on North Korean state media KCNA, adding that a meeting “would serve as another meaningful occasion in further deepening the personal relations between the two leaders and advancing the bilateral relations.”
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