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Donald Trump made history overnight as the first sitting US President to visit North Korea. The POTUS met Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone Sunday and walked 20 steps into North Korea.
Trump spontaneously offered Kim to shake hands at the DMZ on Saturday and security officials on both sides scrambled to make it happen. The two met for about 50 minutes in a US effort to revive talks with the hermit kingdom. From CNN:
“Would you like me to step across?” Trump asked Kim as they shook hands. “I am OK with it.”
While inside North Korean territory, Trump and Kim shook hands and patted each other’s backs before returning across the border to the South after about a minute.
“I never expected to meet you at this place,” Kim, who appeared overjoyed in the moment, told Trump through an interpreter.
Later, Trump said he was “proud to step over the line” and thanked Kim for the meeting. He invited him to the White House, though later acknowledged such a visit would likely not come soon.
The North Korean leader said he was surprised by Trump’s request to meet, and accepted the offer due to their “excellent relationship” and the significance of meeting at the border.
“I think meeting here, two countries that have a hostile past, we are showcasing to the world that we have a new present and we have a positive meeting going forward,” he said.
After the historic handshake, the two men met inside the Freedom House at the DMZ for just under an hour — a more substantial session than Trump previewed earlier when he said his encounter with Kim would amount to little more than a handshake.
As with everything in foreign policy, we will have to wait to see if the visit helped. But what are your first impressions? Was Trump’s visit a masterful negotiating move? A naive one?