US President Donald Trump has offered to meet with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at the inter-Korean border when he travels to South Korea later in the day, Yonhap news agency reported.
Trump made the offer on Twitter on Saturday (Japan time), hours before he was due to visit Seoul from Osaka, Japan, where he has been attending a Group of 20 summit.
“After some very important meetings, including my meeting with President Xi of China, I will be leaving Japan for South Korea (with President Moon),” Trump wrote.
“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()!”
There had been speculation that a Trump-Kim meeting could happen inside the Demilitarized Zone when he visits Seoul on Saturday and Sunday.
But Trump denied before leaving Washington on Wednesday that he planned to meet Kim, saying only that he may speak to the North Korean leader “in a different form.”
At a meeting in Osaka with Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Trump confirmed that he will be going to the DMZ. That part of the trip had previously been reported to be under consideration.
“We’re going there,” he said, according to news reports. “If he’s there, we’ll see each other for two minutes,” he added, noting that he’s unsure whether Kim is in the country.
If the two meet, it will be their third time seeing each other after their historic first summit in Singapore last June and their second summit in Vietnam in February.
The U.S. and North Korea have been negotiating the dismantlement of Pyongyang’s nuclear weapons programme in exchange for sanctions relief, but talks have stalled since the second summit ended without a deal.
An exchange of personal letters between Trump and Kim this month led to hopes for a revival of talks. The US president called Kim’s letter “beautiful” and “very warm,” while the North Korean leader praised Trump’s note as “excellent.”