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Trump Indicates Willingness to Meet North Korean Leader in the DMZ

April 29, 2018
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President Trump during a rally on Saturday in Michigan.Credit Tom Brenner/The New York Times

WASHINGTON — President Trump signaled his preference on Monday to meet Kim Jong-un, the North Korean ruler, in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea, following the example set last week by the leaders of the two Koreas.

“Numerous countries are being considered for the MEETING,” Mr. Trump tweeted Monday morning, “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? Just asking!”

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? Just asking!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 30, 2018

White House officials have been discussing sites as far-flung as Singapore and Mongolia for the planned meeting between Mr. Trump and Mr. Kim. Officials had privately played down the possibility of the Peace House, a three-story, gray stone edifice built by South Korea to hold meetings with officials from the North. The concern has been the optics of Mr. Trump traveling to Mr. Kim’s doorstep.

Trump Indicates Willingness to Meet North Korean Leader in the DMZTrump Indicates Willingness to Meet North Korean Leader in the DMZ

The discussion comes following dramatic images of Mr. Kim greeting South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in, at the line of demarcation between North and South, and sitting down with him in the Peace House.

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Mr. Trump has heaped praise on the meeting, and it has accelerated the momentum behind his own encounter with Mr. Kim, planned for late May or early June. His tweet about meeting at the Peace House could be read as a trial balloon or even a form of crowdsourcing.

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While officials said last week that Singapore or Mongolia were still possible venues, they also said sites in South Korea were under consideration. Among the logistical issues is Mr. Kim’s ability to travel long distances, given the rickety condition of his aircraft.

On Sunday, the South Korean government said Mr. Kim told Mr. Moon that North Korea would relinquish its nuclear weapons if the United States pledged not to attack it and endorsed a peace treaty formally ending the military conflict on the Korean Peninsula.

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