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Diplomacy

Demilitarised Zone is reportedly the likely venue for meeting between Donald Trump and Kim Jong-un

The Panmunjom truce village would be a ‘meaningful’ site for the meeting, a spokesperson for the South Korean president told CNN

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 01 May, 2018, 7:36pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 01 May, 2018, 11:38pm

Speculation is mounting that US President Donald Trump could meet North Korean leader Kim Jong-un in the Demilitarised Zone (DMZ), after CNN reported the truce village of Panmunjom had been agreed as the location.

“[We] think Panmunjom is quite meaningful as a place to erode the divide and establish a new milestone for peace,” a spokesperson for the South Korean president told reporters. “Wouldn’t Panmunjom be the most symbolic place?”

Trump has previously floated various locations for the meeting. Speaking to reporters at the White House, Trump said he is also considering holding the summit, slated for late May or early June to discuss the denuclearisation of North Korea, in a third-party country such as Singapore.

“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,” he said of the idea of holding the summit at the truce village of Panmunjom.

Trump said he has discussed the idea with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who had a meeting with Kim on Friday at the Peace House on the southern side of Panmunjom on Friday.

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“So we are looking at the possibility of doing it in that location,” Trump said. “We’re also looking at various other countries including Singapore.”

Trump said he “personally” thinks the upcoming meeting will be a success.

“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, can create so many good things, so many positive things, and peace and safety for the world,” he said.

At the same time, however, Trump said: “If it’s not a success, I will respectfully leave. It’s very simple.”

Earlier on Monday, Trump had suggested in a Twitter post that Panmunjom could be the venue for a Trump-Kim summit, a message taken by analysts as a trial balloon.

“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?” Trump wrote. But he added: “Just asking!”