Osaka (Japan), June 29 (IANS) US President Donald Trump on Saturday invited North Koreas leader Kim Jong-un to meet over the weekend in the demilitarised zone that separates the two nations sharing the Korean Peninsula.
“After some very important meetings, including my meeting with President Xi of China, I will be leaving Japan for South Korea (with President Moon),” Donald Trump tweeted from Osaka, where he is attending the G20 summit, reported Efe news.
“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.
It has been rumoured that Trump was scheduled to visit the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea during his visit to Seoul this Saturday and Sunday, but the White House had assured that the US President would not meet Kim Jong-un there.
Trump has held two summits with the North Korean leader, the first a year ago in Singapore, where both pledged to “work toward the complete denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula,” according to a joint communiqué released after the meeting.
During the second summit between held at the end of February in Hanoi, Vietnam, the pair failed to agree on how the denuclearisation process should be carried out.
Pyongyang advocates a gradual process accompanied by the progressive lifting of sanctions, while Washington maintains that it will only eliminate sanctions when Kim ends and dismantles its nuclear program.
Since the Hanoi summit, contact between teams of both countries have been minimal and North Korea has hardened its rhetoric towards the US and also South Korea.
In May, the North Korean regime tested several short-range ballistic missiles, but the White House was cautious in its reaction in order not to upset the denuclearisation dialog.
In recent weeks, as Trump’s trip to Japan and South Korea approached, the president has resumed his diplomacy towards Kim. Both sides exchanged letters this month, the most recent of which was last week when the US leader said that Kim had congratulated him on his 73rd birthday.
Trump will arrive in Seoul on Saturday afternoon, where he plans to stay for 24 hours to meet with Moon and discuss the North Korean situation.
The US President wanted to visit the Korean demilitarised zone during his first visit to South Korea in 2017, but ultimately he could not do so due to bad weather.