Trump and Kim hold historic meeting at DMZ

Kyle Moore, July 1, 2019, 9:21 a.m.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump held a "historic meeting" at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) dividing the two Koreas and agreed to resume dialogue for denuclearization, the North's official news agency reported Monday.

During the meeting at the truce village of Panmunjom in the DMZ on Sunday, they "agreed to keep in close touch in the future" and "resume and push forward productive dialogues for making a new breakthrough in the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula and in the bilateral relations," the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said in English.

Sunday's meeting took place as Kim accepted Trump's offer to meet at the DMZ during his two-day stay in South Korea for talks with President Moon Jae-in. They sat face to face a little more than 24 hours after Trump extended the invitation via a Twitter message Saturday.

Kim said it was the "good personal relations with President Trump that made such a dramatic meeting possible at just a one day's notice," according to the KCNA.

"The relations would continue to produce good results unpredictable by others and work as a mysterious force overcoming manifold difficulties and obstacles in the future, too," Kim was quoted as saying.

Before their one-on-one talks at the Freedom House, a building on the southern side of Panmunjom, Trump briefly crossed the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) into the North together with Kim, becoming the first sitting U.S. president to set foot in the communist state.

"In 66 years since the Armistice Agreement in 1953 there happened such an amazing event of the top leaders of the DPRK and the U.S. exchanging historic handshakes at Panmunjom, place that had been known as the symbol of division," the KCNA said.

The report also said Moon "greeted Kim" outside the building and that they exchanged "warm greetings."

The DMZ talks were the first meeting between Trump and Kim since their Hanoi summit in late February, which broke down due to differences over the definition of substantive denuclearization in return for sanctions relief.

"They explained issues of easing tensions on the Korean peninsula, ending the inglorious relations between the two countries and making a dramatic turn and also issues of mutual concern and interest which become a stumbling block in solving those issues, and voiced full understanding and sympathy," the report said.

North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo accompanied the leaders during the meeting, the KCNA said.

During the talks, the two sides agreed to resume working-level nuclear negotiations for the first time since the collapse of their Hanoi summit.

Speaking to reporters on Sunday, Pompeo said he expects the negotiations with the North to resume in mid-July.

North Korea's main newspaper, the Rodong Sinmun, and the Korean Central Broadcasting Station, also reported on the meeting. The KCNA and the Rodong Sinmun each carried 35 photos of the DMZ encounter. 

comments powered by Disqus