Trump downgrades his own idea of holding the Korea summit at the DMZ as just an ‘interesting thought’ – then says he touted it because the location would be ideal for a ‘great celebration’
- President Donald Trump floated that the Korea summit could be held in the DMZ
- He said Monday it was his own ‘interesting thought’ after promoting it on Twitter
- Acknowledged that some critics don’t like the look of it
- Mentioned Singapore as still in the mix for hosting the summit with N. Korean dictator
- The leaders of North and South Korea met at the DMZ recently and and made advances that shocked policy watchers
- Trump asked if it could be a ‘be a more Representative, Important and Lasting site than a third party country’
- Trump said Friday that the location had been narrowed to a pair of spots
- Singapore and Mongolia also considered
President Donald Trump says he touted the idea of holding a summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un inside the DMZ because it could be a venue for a ‘great celebration’ if a deal gets made.
But even as he sang the praises of the location in heavily fortified neutral territory, Trump acknowledged it was just a ‘thought.’
‘Well it was an interesting thought. And I had that thought,’ Trump said, asked about the location for what would be a historic summit just hours after he floated the location on Twitter.
‘We’re looking at various countries, including Singapore and we are also talking about the possibility of the DMZ – Peace House, Freedom House,’ Trump said. ‘There’s something that I thought was intriguing,’ he added, using the past tense.
‘There’s something that I like about it because you’re there. You’re actually there,’ Trump said, speaking of his planned historic summit with North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un, which he said could happen in the DMZ
‘Some people maybe don’t like the look of that and some people like it very much. I threw it out today as an idea,’ Trump said, acknowledging the idea of him going to within feet of Kim Jong-un’s turf had drawn internal opposition.
Then Trump explained: ‘There’s something that I like about it because you’re there. You’re actually there.’
‘Where if things work out there’s a great celebration to be had on the site, not in a third party country. So we are looking at the possibility of doing it in that location,’ he added.
After saying Singapore remained in the mix, Trump described a sort of competition to get it.
‘The good news, everybody wants us. It has the chance to be a big event,’ Trump said, before referencing a talk with his new security advisor John Bolton.
‘The United States has never been closer to potentially having something happen with respect to the Korean peninsula that can get rid of the nuclear weapons … and peace and safety for the world,’ he said.
He said Kim Jong-un has been ‘very open and very straightforward so far.’
‘But he’s talking about getting rid of the [underground nuclear testing] site, which was their big site. He’s talking about “no research, no launching of ballistic missiles, no nuclear testing. And he has lived up to that for a long period of time,’ Trump said.
‘I think it would be a great celebration if it works out well.’
Earlier Monday morning, Trump pitched the idea of meeting Kim Jong-un inside the DMZ, just steps away the North Korean dictator’s home turf.
Trump made the case for a meeting in the neutral territory between the two heavily fortified countries after White House officials had named a pair of neutral countries as a possible meeting place.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in met with Kim there in the pair’s historic meeting, where the South Korean leader stepped across and into North Korean territory.
‘Numerous countries are being considered for the MEETING, but would Peace House/Freedom House, on the Border of North & South Korea, be a more Representative, Important and Lasting site than a third party country? Just asking!’ Trump tweeted on Monday.
President Donald Trump suggested holding a highly anticipated summit with Kim Jong-un inside the DMZ
Using the venue again could capitalize on the optics and sudden progress that occured during the meeting between the two Korean leaders there.
On Sunday, the Korean side said Kim had offered to Moon that North Korea would relinquish its nuclear weapons in exchange for a pledge by the U.S. not to attack it.
Mongolia and Singapore were the final choices for consideration, CBS reported days ago.
Trump had to scratch his own earlier plan to visit the DMZ during his trip to South Korea due to bad weather.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in raise their hands after signing a joint statement at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, Friday, April 27, 2018.
Trump teased the selection at the White House. ‘I will be meeting with Kim Jong Un in the coming weeks, we look forward to that,’ he said at a press conference with German Chancellor Angela Merkel. ‘We’re down to two countries as to a site, and we’ll let you know what that site is.’
The New York Times reported that far-flung locations were a problem because of the ‘rickety condition’ of Kim’s aircraft.
THIS VENUE ALSO IS AVAILABLE: In this file photo released by the US Government on April 26, 2018, North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (R) shakes hands with the former CIA Director, now US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo in Pyongyang over the 2018 Easter weekend
Holding the event in the DMZ would make it a quick trip for North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un
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