South Korea and the US kicked off a major combined military exercise on Monday to reinforce deterrence against North Korea's nuclear and missile threats amid concern Pyongyang could use the manoeuvres as a pretext for provocations.
US President Donald Trump welcomed North Korean leader Kim Jong-un at Panmunjom, a border village at the Demilitarized Zone, to seek a revive talks on the pariah nation’s nuclear program in a bid for a legacy-defining accord on Sunday.
President Trump then became the first American leader to step into North Korea.
Trump said, “It’s a great honor to be here. It is a great day for the world while shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
In response to Trump’s warm welcome, Kim said, “I believe this is an expression of his willingness to eliminate unfortunate past and into a new future.”
Kim further said, “We’ve developed a very good relationship and we understand each other very well. I do believe he understands me, and I think I maybe understand him, and sometimes that can lead to very good things.”
Donald Trump arrived at the Presidential Palace after attending a “business leaders’ event” on Sunday morning with the heads of some South Korean conglomerates.
This is the first time the two leaders have met since their February summit in Hanoi, Vietnam, which ended abruptly without an agreement.
According to the Yonhap News Agency, Sunday’s meeting was also the first time for leaders of the two nations to hold a meeting at Panmunjom since the Korean War ended with the Armistice Agreement in 1953.
Trump has also invited Kim to Washington, but it was not immediately clear if the latter has accepted the invitation.
The US President will return to Washington from Seoul later in the day.