Trump, North Korea make surprising statements on DMZ rendezvous

With President Trump having made some progress on Chinese trade during his time at the G-20 summit in Japan, it seems that the Commander in Chief is getting into a diplomatic groove.

Talks between China and the United States had been stalled for months going into yesterday’s meeting, with American farmers taking the brunt of the so-called “trade war”.  With Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping agreeing to restart negotiations, perhaps the Commander in Chief will be able to wrangle the agricultural vote back in his favor for 2020.  If not, there will be trouble for Team Trump in the midwest.

Now, while he’s at it, Trump has intimated that he would be willing to meet with another, more infamous Asian leader.

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Eyeing a history-making photo opportunity, President Donald Trump issued a Twitter invitation Saturday to North Korea’s Kim Jong Un to meet for a handshake during a visit to the demilitarized zone with South Korea, and even expressed willingness to cross the border into the isolated nation.

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The invitation, while long rumored in diplomatic circles, still struck as an impulsive display of showmanship by a president bent on obtaining a legacy-defining nuclear accord. North Korea responded by calling the offer a “very interesting suggestion.”

Presidential visits to the DMZ are traditionally treated as carefully guarded secrets for security reasons. White House officials couldn’t immediately say whether Kim had agreed to meet with Trump. The president himself claimed he wasn’t even sure Kim was in North Korea to accept the invitation.

North Korea has responded, albeit with a bit of coy constraint.

North Korea said Saturday President Donald Trump’s offer to meet leader Kim Jong Un at the Korean Demilitarized Zone is a “very interesting suggestion,” brightening prospects for a third face-to-face meeting between the two leaders.

The North’s First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son Hui said that the meeting, if realized, would serve as “another meaningful occasion in further deepening the personal relations between the two leaders and advancing the bilateral relations.”

Choe still said that North Korea hasn’t received an official proposal for the DMZ meeting from the United States. Her comments suggested that North Korea is willing to accept Trump’s idea if it gets a formal U.S. offer for the meeting, according to some observers in Seoul.

Donald Trump has long attempted to engage Kim Jong Un in diplomatic relations, but with only metered success.

North Korea is currently facing a glut of international sanctions that have forced the authoritarian regime to reduce nationwide food rations to merely 11 ounces per day, per citizen.  This has sparked fears that the DPRK could soon be facing another famine.

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