President Trump on Saturday tweeted an invitation to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un to come to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) with South Korean leader Moon Jae-in. “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(?)!” Mr. Trump tweeted.
Later, Mr. Trump told reporters that “I put out a feeler because I don’t know where he is right now, he may not even be in North Korea.”
“He sent me a very beautiful birthday card and I just–what I did is–and I guess he got my return letter, because it’s in the newspaper, it’s him reading the return letter,” Mr. Trump said. “But I just put out–I just thought of it this morning. We’ll be at the area, we may go to the DMZ, or the border as they call it.”
North Korea’s government released a statement calling Mr. Trump’s invitation a “very interesting suggestion” but said they hadn’t received a official proposal.
At a press conference after the conclusion of the G20 summit, Mr. Trump said he knew the Kim “follows me on Twitter” because “we got an answer very quickly.” He said he considered that the media would report he got “stood up” if Kim didn’t show up, but Mr. Trump said he decided to do it anyway.
“We’re not talking about an extended meeting — we’re just talking about a quick hello,” Mr. Trump said.
Mr. Trump will be traveling to South Korea on Saturday. Mr. Trump said he would have “no problem” crossing over the DMZ into North Korea if asked.
Mr. Trump’s summit with Kim in Vietnam earlier this year collapsed without an agreement for denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. South Korea’s government said earlier Friday that North Korea is ready for talks with the U.S.
Earlier Friday, the U.S. Special Representative on North Korea, Stephen Biegun, would not answer a question from CBS News’ Weijia Jiang about whether there would be a third summit with North Korea.
As he left the White House for Asia earlier this week, Mr. Trump was asked whether he’d meet with Kim while he is in the region.
“I’ll be meeting with a lot of other people … but I may be speaking to him in a different form,” Mr. Trump said.
Such trips to the demilitarized zone, the heavily fortified border between North and South Korea, are usually undertaken under heavy security and the utmost secrecy. Mr. Trump tried to visit the DMZ when he was in Seoul in November 2017, but his helicopter was grounded by heavy fog. Mr. Trump called it a “real border” to reporters on Saturday.
Mr. Trump has met twice with Kim: in 2018 in Singapore and in February in Vietnam.
Mr. Trump repeatedly boasts of how well he gets along with Kim, who displays authoritarian tendencies.