2019 Koreas–United States DMZ Summit
|2019 Koreas–United States DMZ summit|
Trump (left), Kim (center), and Moon (right) talking together in the DMZ.
|Host country|| South Korea|
|Date||June 30, 2019|
|Venue(s)||Freedom House, Panmunjom, Demilitarized Zone (DMZ)|
|Participants|| Moon Jae-in|
|Follows||2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit|
The 2019 Koreas–United States DMZ Summit was a one-day summit held at the Korean Demilitarized Zone between North Korean chairman Kim Jong-un, U.S. president Donald Trump, and South Korean president Moon Jae-in, following the 2019 G20 Osaka summit. Trump stepped over the border at 3:45 PM (GMT+9) on June 30, marking the first time a sitting U.S. president had set foot on North Korean soil. Trump's daughter and son-in-law, presidential advisors Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, also attended the summit, with Ivanka Trump and Harry B. Harris Jr. holding a meeting with Kim later shown on North Korean TV.
A number of other sitting U.S. presidents had previously traveled to the Korean Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) and seen North Korea through binoculars, but none had previously met the leaders of North Korea or actually traveled within North Korean territory. In order to solve the Korean Peninsula nuclear issue, US President Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un held nuclear talks in February 2019, 27 and 28 in the Vietnamese capital of Hanoi, but talks eventually broke down, unable to reach an agreement.  Nevertheless, the two countries still emphasize that they will continue to maintain dialogue. On June 12 of the same year, Trump told reporters that he received a personal letter from Kim Jong-un, who also called the letter "very private, warm and beautiful", so he was convinced that the relationship between the two was "very good"   Then, Kim Jong-un received a reply from Trump on June 23, the former "satisfied" with the content of the letter, and will "carefully consider" the "interesting" proposal.  On the morning of June 29, Trump, who is attending the G20 summit in Osaka, Japan, said on his social media Twitter that he will visit the Republic of North Korea tomorrow. He also said that if he can, he would shake hands with chairman Kim and say hello to Kim Jong-un in Panmunjom "shake his Hand and say Hello"   Five hours later, North Korean Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho responded by saying that Trump’s proposal was “very interesting” and asked the U.S. to issue a formal notice.  On the evening of the same day, Ri Yong-ho met with the US State Department 's Special Representative for DPRK Policy, Stephen Biegun, at the Panmunjom, and was interpreted by South Korean media as the preparations for a DMZ summit between the two countries.  
On June 24, 2019, the Blue House confirmed that Trump would be making a visit to South Korea on June 30 and that the White House was trying to schedule a visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone. On June 29, before leaving Japan for South Korea, Trump tweeted says, "If Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!". During the South Korea–U.S. Summit, South Korean president Moon Jae-in announced that Trump would be meeting Kim during his visit at the DMZ. Moon predicted that a handshake between Trump and Kim at the DMZ would be a "milestone" for denuclearization efforts on the peninsula.
Although the meeting was billed as a spontaneous or impromptu meeting, Kim and Trump had exchanged letters earlier in the month. In the Washington Post, Andrei Lankov of Kookmin University said it was "inconceivable that the leaders of two powerful nations had arranged a meeting at such short notice" and described the event as "a 'show' designed to send a political message without raising expectations about actual progress."
Following the conclusions of the 2019 G20 Osaka summit in Japan, on June 30, 2019, Trump and South Korean president Moon Jae-in visited the DMZ before the meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Kim invited Trump to cross the border line, and both men briefly crossed in North Korea before crossing back into South Korea. Trump thus became the first U.S. president to enter North Korea.[a] Before crossing into North Korea, Kim told Trump, "it's good to see you again" and "I never expected to meet you at this place", and shook hands with Trump. Trump said it was "my honor" to enter North Korea. During their meeting, Trump also invited Kim to the White House, although later acknowledged that this would probably not occur in the near term. Trump said of Kim: "A lot of really great things are happening, tremendous things. We met and we liked each other from Day One, and that was very important." Moon later joined Trump and Kim, and the three spoke for a brief moment before Kim and Trump held a 53-minute-long private meeting inside the Freedom House.
Trump's top advisor Ivanka Trump, senior advisor Jared Kushner, Secretary of the Treasury Steven Mnuchin, and United States ambassador to South Korea Harry B. Harris, Jr., accompanied Trump to the DMZ. Ivanka Trump joined the president in his meeting with Kim. Moon did not attend; the North Korean Foreign Ministry had announced a week before that he was not welcome, telling South Korean authorities to "mind their own business at home".
In remarks after the meeting, Kim said that by meeting at the DMZ, "Don't just looking at this action, it is an expression that his willingness to eliminate all the negative past and open a new future."  
Following the nuclear summit, both sides had announced a resumption of "working-level" nuclear talks. U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo said that Trump administration negotiators would meet North Korean counterparts to resume denuclearization talks in mid-July. U.S. special envoy to North Korea, Stephen Biegun, would lead the U.S. negotiators; the North Korean lead negotiator has not been appointed, although senior diplomat Choe Son-hui was viewed as a likely choice.
David E. Sanger and Michael Crowley, in an analysis for the New York Times, wrote that in the lead-up to the meeting, Trump administration officials had been internally considering the prospect that a new round of U.S.–North Korea negotiations could lead to the U.S. accepting "a nuclear freeze, one that essentially enshrines the status quo, and tacitly accepts the North as a nuclear power," rather than complete denuclearization. Under this possible outcome, North Korea would halt the growth of its nuclear arsenal, but would not dismantle any of the estimated 20–60 existing nuclear weapons already in its stockpile, and would not curb its ballistic missile capabilities. U.S. envoy Stephen Biegun said that commentary about possible outcomes was speculative and said he was "not preparing any new proposal currently". No date has been set for any talks.
On July 11, United Nations Command (USFK) released the official strategic assessment about the ICBM capability of the DPRK for the first time. The two of the three models of ICBM: Hwasong-14 and 15 are competent to strike the most or anywhere in the U.S. mainland.
On July 16, North Korea's foreign ministry accused the U.S. of "unilaterally reneging on its commitments" and suggested that it could resume nuclear and missile testing if planned joint U.S.-South Korean military exercises moved forward. In his June 2018 meeting in Singapore with Kim, Trump pledged to end what he called "very provocative" U.S.-South Korea military exercises; the U.S. later said that it had scaled back the number and scope of exercises to "support diplomatic efforts" but did not cancel the exercises. The dispute over the planned exercises raised questions as to whether U.S.-North Korea nuclear talks would go forward. On July 16, Trump said that "time is not of the essence" and that he was "in absolutely no hurry."
The meeting was "broadly welcomed in South Korean political circles," including from the ruling Democratic Party (whose chairman called it "another milestone toward peace on the Korean Peninsula") and the conservative Liberty Korea Party, the main opposition party. S. Korea President Moon announced that Trump-Kim DMZ summit gives hope of peace to 80 million Korean people.
North Korean state media praised Trump's visit as "historic" and "an amazing event", and extensively covered the event for KCNA, the state TV network, and Rodong Sinmun, a state newspaper. Kim was quoted in the Rodong Sinmun as saying that "a dramatic meeting like today could take place in one day due to my excellent friendly relationship with President Trump." Anna Fifield of the Washington Post and Nic Robertson of CNN described the meeting as an important propaganda victory for Kim.
During a news conference with South Korean president Moon Jae-in, Trump falsely claimed that "President Obama wanted to meet and Chairman Kim would not meet him. The Obama administration was begging for a meeting." Former Trump administration deputy national security advisor K.T. McFarland compared the Trump-Kim DMZ meeting to the Nixon-Mao meeting in 1972 and dismissed critics of the meeting.
A number of Democratic members of the U.S. Congress, candidates for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020, and general critics of Trump criticized his decision to meet with Kim. The Joe Biden campaign denounced Trump for "coddling" dictators while making "numerous concessions for negligible gain"; candidate Elizabeth Warren tweeted, "Our president shouldn’t be squandering American influence on photo ops and exchanging love letters with a ruthless dictator." Critics also took exception to the president's decision to meet with Kim two years after the death of Otto Warmbier, an American college student who was arrested and imprisoned by North Korea after being accused of stealing a propaganda poster, and suffered a fatal brain injury in North Korean captivity.
Foreign policy commentator S. Nathan Park said that "Washington's foreign policy circles, for the most part, criticized the meeting" as noting the lack of precursor working-level talks. Park, however, viewed the third Trump-Kim meeting as a positive trust-building event that could be viewed as "necessary to get the working level talks back on track." Park wrote that although "one must be clear-eyed to the reality that a tangible result has not yet materialized in Trump's North Korea diplomacy," patience could lead to more concrete impacts.
China’s foreign minister Wang Yi called the Kim–Trump DMZ meeting a "rare opportunity for peace" and said that Chinese President Xi Jinping had urged the U.S. to "show flexibility" by easing its sanctions against North Korea in gradual "action-for-action" phases, rather than offering sanctions relief only upon complete nuclear disarmament. Cheong Seong-chang of the Sejong Institute, a South Korean think tank, said that in meetings between Kim and Xi in North Korea, "Xi pledged economic cooperation and a security guarantee to North Korea in exchange for Pyongyang's continued effort on denuclearization negotiations." Koh Yu-hwan, a North Korean studies professor at Dongguk University in Seoul, agreed that Xi had facilitated the Trump-Kim meeting.
- 2018–19 Korean peace process
- List of international trips made by Kim Jong-un
- 2017–18 North Korea crisis
- Kim–Xi meetings
- Kim–Putin meetings
- Inter-Korean summits
- April 2018 inter-Korean summit
- 2018 North Korea–United States Singapore Summit
- 2019 North Korea–United States Hanoi Summit
- North Korea–United States relations
- South Korea–United States relations
- North Korea–South Korea relations
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- Media related to 2019 Koreas–United States DMZ summit at Wikimedia Commons