Osaka (Japan): US President Donald Trump on Saturday invited North Korean leader Kim Jong Un to meet for a historic handshake at the demilitarised zone between North and South Korea in what he said was a spontaneous offer.
The spectacular invitation on Twitter caught observers by surprise. If Kim accepts, it would be the third meeting between the leaders of the two former enemies amid efforts to denuclearise the Korean peninsula.
“After some very important meetings, including my meeting with President Xi of China, I will be leaving Japan for South Korea (with President Moon),” tweeted Trump.
“While there, if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!,” Trump said from Japan's Osaka, where he is attending the G20 summit.
Trump later told reporters he “just thought of it this morning” but the offer came amid a recent flurry of diplomacy over North Korea's nuclear programme after a Trump-Kim summit in Hanoi collapsed without an agreement.
Speculation grew that something was afoot when US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo skipped a G20 dinner late on Friday without giving a reason.
“We’ll see. If he is there, we will see each other for two minutes,” said Trump, adding: “I just put out a feeler because I don’t know where he is right now, he may not be in North Korea.” “We seem to get along. That’s a good thing, not a bad thing,” added the president.
The South’s presidential Blue House said nothing had been confirmed at this point and added: “Our position, which hopes for a dialogue between the US and North Korea to take place, remains unchanged.”