Trump becomes first sitting US president to enter North Korea

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un stands with US President Donald Trump south of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP)

Donald Trump has become the first sitting US president to enter North Korea as he shook hands with Kim Jong Un across the border at the Korean Demilitarised Zone on Sunday.

The historic photo-op was achieved as Mr Trump sought to make a legacy-defining nuclear deal with the North.

This latest encounter marks the third time the two leaders have met, and the first since a failed summit on the North's nuclear programme in Vietnam earlier this year.

Mr Trump briefly crossed the border into North Korea after greeting Mr Kim.

There are as yet no indications of a breakthrough in the stalled negotiations to end the North's nuclear programme.

Mr Kim said Mr Trump's brief visit to North Korean territory improves ties between the nations.

Mr Trump said it felt "great" to be the first US president to step into the North and hailed his "great friendship" with Mr Kim.

Mr Trump earlier had his first glimpse of North Korea from an observation post in the Korean Demilitarised Zone.

Mr Trump was shown various landmarks as he stood atop Observation Post Ouellette.

He then met with several dozen troops stationed at the Korean Demilitarised Zone separating South and North Korea and telling them: "We're with you all the way."

The troops included US soldiers as well as South Korean troops.

Mr Trump was joined by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is praising Mr Trump for deciding to meet with Mr Kim, calling it "a bold decision".

Mr Trump has at times appeared to question the value of keeping US troops on the Korean Peninsula in light of the US-South Korea trade deficit.

Mr Trump said the situation used to be marked by "tremendous danger", but that: "After our first summit, all of the danger went away."

Every US president since Ronald Reagan has visited the 1953 armistice line, except for George H.W. Bush, who visited as vice president.


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