President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will meet together for a landmark summit on the de facto border, the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ), between the two Koreas. The announcement follows the meeting in the northern border town of Panmunjom in South Korea where Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in discussed a possible “peace agreement,” signaling the first step to the official end of the 68-year Korean War.
The Trump-Kim summit will involve the next steps taken in the complete denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. The move signals that the authoritarian regime is becoming less belligerent, leading Moon to call to “open up a new era of peace” between the two countries.
In a report from the New York Post there is a “strong possibility” the high-profile meeting will take place at the event venue in Panmunjom with, according to CNN reports, some events possibly being scheduled north of the border.
The site in Panmunjom has a few key advantages for Kim, including logistics ramifications and the fact that media equipment and facilities are located there. A spokesperson for President Moon has also supported the proposal, according to the report.
“(We) think Panmunjom is quite meaningful as a place to erode the divide and establish a new milestone for peace,” the spokesperson stated. “Wouldn’t Panmunjom be the most symbolic place?”
President Trump reportedly “liked” the now-famous images and coverage of the meeting between Kim and Moon. He also motioned that he may have a border-side sit down with Kim when he spoke on the phone with Moon over the weekend.
During a Monday White House news conference in the Rose Garden, President Trump opined on the future meeting in Panmunjom. “There’s something I like about it, because you’re there, if things work out, there’s a great celebration to be had on the site, not in a third-party country,” he said.
Though, there has been some contention within the Trump Administration about the meeting at the border, citing too much leverage for Kim. Some believe the move would not be symbolic, but “too conciliatory,” with other neutral locations like Singapore and areas in east Asia in mind.