Twitter Diplomacy? Trump Unexpectedly Tweets DMZ Handshake Invite to Kim Jong Un
As President Donald Trump wrapped up the G-20 summit in Japan on Saturday morning, he unexpectedly sent via Twitter an invitation to North Korean dictator Kim Jong un to meet for a handshake at the DMZ during his stopover in South Korea on the way back to the US.
After some very important meetings, including my meeting with President Xi of China, I will be leaving Japan for South Korea (with President Moon). 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(?)!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 28, 2019
According to The Hill, Trump had acknowledged in an interview earlier in the week that he was considering sending some kind of olive branch to North Korea. The White House, however, had requested that the paper delay publication out of security concerns for the president. With the summit concluded, Trump apparently saw fit to make the public invite himself on his favorite social media platform.
However, the president told a different story to the press, as one New York Times White House reporter relays that Trump tried to portray the offer as a sudden epiphany he had earlier on Saturday in Japan.
Trump describes his tweet suggesting a DMZ meeting with Kim Jong-un as a spontaneous idea. “I just thought of it this morning.”
— Peter Baker (@peterbakernyt) June 28, 2019
Trump’s idea isn’t completely unprecedented. South Korean President Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un had a similar, historic meeting at the DMZ in April 2018, where the two leaders met to make a public show of peaceful relations. But no U.S. President has ever met with a North Korean dictator at the border between the two Koreas, which are still technically at war.
Trump has repeatedly touted his warm, friendly relationship with Kim Jong Un, a vicious tyrant who presides over a murderous, totalitarian regime. And his latest entreaty comes after his much-touted Hanoi Summit earlier this year fell apart as a diplomatic bust and as negotiated progress made during his 2017 Singapore Summit has unraveled.
Image via screengrab.
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