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Trump Becomes First Sitting President to Enter North Korea

'I was proud to step over the line'
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jun 30, 2019 2:58 AM CDT
President Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, Sunday, June 30, 2019.   (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – With grins and handshakes, President Trump welcomed North Korea's Kim Jong Un at the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone Sunday, seeking to revive talks on the pariah nation's nuclear program in a bid for a legacy-defining accord. Trump then became the first sitting American leader to step into North Korea. "I was proud to step over the line," Trump told Kim as they met in a building known as "Freedom House" on the South Korean side of the Panmunjom truce village. "It is a great day for the world." Kim hailed the moment, saying of Trump, "I believe this is an expression of his willingness to eliminate all the unfortunate past and open a new future." He added that he was "surprised" by Trump's invitation in a tweet on Saturday.

As he stood beside Kim, Trump told reporters he would invite the North Korean leader to the United States, potentially even to the White House. "I would invite him right now," Trump said. Kim, speaking through a translator, reciprocated that it would be an "honor" to invite Trump to the North Korean capital of Pyongyang "at the right time." The photo-op, another historic first in the yearlong rapprochement between the two technically warring nations, marks a return to face-to-face contact between the leaders since talks broke down during a summit in Vietnam in February, the AP reports. But it does little to erase significant doubts that remain about the future of the negotiations and the North's willingness to give up its stockpile of nuclear weapons.

(Read more North Korea stories.)

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