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Trump says he wants to ‘shake hands’ with North Korea’s Kim at DMZ

Donald Trump at the G20 summit

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Reuters

US President Donald Trump has spontaneously invited North Korea leader Kim Jong-un to meet him at the fortified frontier that divides North and South Korea.

Mr Trump is due to visit South Korea after the G20 summit in Japan.

He arrives in Seoul on Saturday for a two-day trip aimed at rescuing foundering denuclearisation talks with North Korea.

In a tweet, Mr Trump unexpectedly mooted a meeting with Mr Kim.

Speaking at the G20 summit in Osaka, Mr Trump clarified his tweet, telling reporters he decided on Saturday morning to “put out a feeler” to Mr Kim.

“If he’s there, we’ll see each other for two minutes and that’s fine,” he said in comments to reporters at the start of a working breakfast with Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman.

It remains unclear whether officials with Mr Trump were briefed in advance about his overture to the North Korean leader.

Mr Trump attempted to make a surprise visit to the demilitarised zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas in November 2017, but was forced to abandon the plans due to bad weather.

Relations between North Korea and the US have soured since Mr Trump and Mr Kim met in Hanoi, Vietnam in February.

Their second summit ended without agreement on North Korea’s progress towards denuclearisation.

The US has insisted North Korea give up its nuclear programme while Pyongyang has demanded sanctions relief.

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Reuters

Image caption

US President Donald Trump meeting Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman at the G20 summit

However in recent months Mr Trump has spoken warmly about Mr Kim.

Last week, he sent the North Korean leader a personal letter, whose content Mr Kim praised as “excellent”.

Earlier this month he told reporters that North Korea under Mr Kim’s leadership had “tremendous potential”.

And in May during a visit to Japan Mr Trump described Mr Kim as a “very smart guy” and said he expected “a lot of good things” to come out of North Korea.

Trump says he wants to ‘shake hands’ with North Korea’s Kim at DMZ

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