The Latest: NKorea’s state media calls DMZ meeting ‘amazing’

Politics
Donald Trump, Moon Jae-in

President Donald Trump, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in shake hands following their news conference at the Blue House in Seoul, Sunday, June 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) — The Latest on President Donald Trump’s visit to Asia (all times local):

10 a.m. Monday

North Korea’s state media is describing leader Kim Jong Un’s meeting with President Donald Trump at the Demilitarized Zone as “an amazing event” in the border village it notes is a symbol of the Korean Peninsula’s division.

The Korean Central News Agency reports that the two leaders expressed great satisfaction over the results of their talks. Also included in the state media report is a description of Kim exchanging “warm greetings” with South Korea’s president, Moon Jae-in.

Trump and Kim agreed to restart negotiations designed to denuclearize the Korean peninsula, a point included in the state media recap of the event.

The DMZ meeting on Sunday was an unexpected addition to Trump’s Asia trip. He became the first U.S. president to set foot in North Korea.

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1:55 a.m. Monday

Democratic lawmakers in the United States, including some running for the White House, say there’s little in President Donald Trump’s diplomatic track to convince them that his meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un (gihm jung oon) may lead to a nuclear breakthrough.

Trump is coming under criticism for what Democrats see as his affinity for authoritarian leaders such as Kim and they are skeptical that the Trump-Kim sit-down at the Demilitarized Zone may amount to anything more than a photo opportunity.

Sen. Chuck Schumer says “dictators seem to get elevated and people who believe in democracy not.”

Former Obama Housing Secretary Julian Castro, a presidential candidate, wonders why Trump appears keen to raise Kim’s profile when, according to Castro, Kim hasn’t abided by past commitments about the North’s weapons programs.

And Sen. Bernie Sanders, also a 2020 candidate, says he’s not opposed to sitting down with America’s adversaries, but he tells ABC’s “This Week” that “we need real diplomacy” and he hasn’t seen that under Trump

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8:30 p.m.

“A wonderful meeting” is how President Donald Trump is describing his get-together with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un at the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.

As Trump was leaving South Korea and ending his four-day trip to Asia, he tweeted about becoming the first American president to set foot in North Korea.

“Stood on the soil of North Korea, an important statement for all, and a great honor!” Trump said in his tweet.

After their meeting Sunday, Trump announced that he and Kim had agreed to resume stalled talks on denuclearization in the coming weeks.

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7:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump is on his way back to Washington after a four-day trip to Asia during which he became the first American president to set foot in North Korea.

Trump attended the Group of 20 summit in Osaka, Japan, where he held talks with Russia’s Vladimir Putin (POO’-tihn) and met with China’s Xi Jinping (shee jihn-peeng). Trump and Xi decided to resume trade negotiations after talks broke down.

Trump then headed to South Korea, where he turned a planned visit to the Demilitarized Zone between North and South into a surprise get-together with the North’s Kim Jong Un. The two leaders crossed the demarcation dividing the Korean Peninsula.

Following their longer-than-expected meeting, Trump announced that he and Kim had agreed to resume stalled talks on denuclearization in the coming weeks.

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6:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump has addressed members of the U.S military at an American air base in Osan, just south of Seoul, South Korea, before ending his Asia trip and returning to Washington.

Trump recounted the moment earlier Sunday when he stepped across the border at the demilitarized zone into North Korea and became the first sitting U.S. president to do so.

He says he and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un (gihm jung oon) “had a very productive meeting” there. And Trump says he tried to sell Kim on the prosperity he believes awaits North Korea if it gives up its nuclear program.

During his remarks to the service members, Trump called up to the stage both U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo as well as Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and a top White House adviser. He jokingly called them “beauty and the beast.”

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5:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump says that sanctions remain on North Korea following his Sunday meeting with Kim Jong Un at the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

But he appears to be leaving open the possibility of scaling them back as part of upcoming renewed negotiations, saying that: “at some point during the negotiation, things can happen.”

Trump is also telling reporters after bidding Kim farewell that he raised the idea of a Kim visit to Washington during their talks.

Trump says he told Kim that, “at the right time, you’re going to come over” and that that could be “any time he wants to do it.”

Trump adds that he “would certainly extend the invite” and that, “at some point” it will happen.

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5:15 p.m.

President Donald Trump says the U.S. and North Korea have designated teams to resume stalled nuclear talks between the nations within weeks.

Trump shared the news as he briefed reporters after spending about 50 minutes in talks behind closed doors with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Trump says he hopes the sides can reach a comprehensive deal, but says that “speed is not the object.”

He says: “We’re not looking for speed. We’re looking to get it right.”

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5:10 p.m.

What was originally supposed to be a brief exchange of pleasantries between President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un at the raised line of concrete marking the border between North and South has turned into private talks stretching about 50 minutes.

Trump had tweeted out his last-minute invitation to Kim, suggesting the North Korean leader meet him “at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!” during a long-scheduled visit.

Trump later said that if Kim made the trip, the two would “see each other for two minutes,” adding: “That’s all we can. But that will be fine. “

Trump and Kim’s second summit in Hanoi earlier this year ended without a deal.

Trump was joined in the Freedom House conversation with Kim by his daughter and son-in-law, Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner.

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5:05 a.m.

President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un are concluding a 50-minute meeting at the Demilitarized Zone.

Trump escorted Kim from “Freedom House” on the South Korean side of the zone back to the concrete line marking the border between the two nations.

Trump says, “We just had a very good meeting with Chairman Kim.”

He adds: “This was a very legendary, very historic day.”

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4:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump’s historic first steps into North Korea sparked a scuffle between reporters and North Korean security guards, with officials shoving and trying to block the press.

Also roughed up in the fracas was incoming Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham, who ended up with bruises.

The jostling grew especially intense as reporters tried to enter a room inside the Freedom House on the southern side of Panmunjom where Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un were meeting after exchanging initial handshakes on the border.

North Korean guards tried to physically prevent members of the U.S. press pool from entering the room, pushing and shoving, and the Secret Service stepped in to intervene.

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4:25 p.m.

President Donald Trump says he “was proud” to step over the demarcation line between North and South Korea, becoming the first U.S. president to enter North Korea.

Trump is telling reporters as he meets with Kim Jong Un in a building named The Freedom House on the South Korean side that “the world is watching.”

He’s also thanking Kim, saying that if the North Korean leader hadn’t shown up for the meeting, the press would have made Trump look bad.

Kim said he was surprised by Trump’s last-minute invitation to meet at the Korean Demilitarized Zone on Sunday. But he says he hopes the meeting “can be the foundation for better things in the future.”

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4:05 p.m.

President Donald Trump is calling it a “great honor” to have become the first American president to cross the Korean Demilitarized Zone into North Korea.

Trump tells reporters as he stands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un that it “feels great” to make the historical walk as he hails his “great friendship” with Kim.

Speaking through a translator, Kim commended Trump for crossing the demarcation line, which he called a “courageous and determined act” that “means that we want to bring an end to the unpleasant past.”

Trump also said he would invite Kim to visit the White House moments after Kim crossed the demarcation line himself and entered into South Korea.

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3:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un shook hands across the border at the Korean Demilitarized Zone, in an historic photo-op as Trump seeks to make a legacy-defining nuclear deal with the North.

It is the third time the two leaders have met, and the first since a failed summit on the North’s nuclear program in Vietnam earlier this year. Trump briefly crossed the border into North Korea after greeting Kim.

There are as yet no indications of a breakthrough in the stalled negotiations to end the North’s nuclear program.

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3:35 p.m.

President Donald Trump is meeting with several dozen troops stationed at the Korean Demilitarized Zone separating South and North Korea and telling them, “We’re with you all the way.”

The troops include both U.S. solders as well as South Korean troops.

Trump was joined by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who is praising Trump for deciding to meet shortly with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. He’s calling it “a bold decision”

Trump has at times appeared to question the value of keeping U.S. troops on the Korean Peninsula in light of the U.S.-South Korea trade deficit.

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3:20 p.m.

President Donald Trump is griping about the press not giving him sufficient credit for improved U.S. relations with North Korea as he pays an historic visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

Trump is telling reporters as he stands atop Observation Post Ouellette that there has been “tremendous” improvement since his first meeting with the North’s leader Kim Jong Un in Singapore last year.

Trump says the situation used to be marked by “tremendous danger,” but that, “After our first summit, all of the danger went away.”

And he’s chastising reporters, saying “they have no appreciation for” for changes in the North, which he’s calling a “very different place.”

Trump has been criticized for meeting again with Kim when the North continues to test short-range missiles and has not moved forward with a pledge to denuclearize.

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2:58 p.m.

President Donald Trump is getting his first glimpse of North Korea from an observation post in the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

Trump, wearing a suit, is being shown various landmarks as he stands atop Observation Post Ouellette.

It’s his first stop on his first visit to the border between the North and the South, which will include another face-to-face meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un. His last attempted visit was thwarted by bad weather.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced earlier Sunday that Kim had accepted Trump’s tweeted invitation to meet at the heavily fortified site at the Korean border village of Panmunjom

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2:40 p.m.

President Donald Trump is making his first visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone ahead of a meeting with North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

Trump arrived by helicopter Sunday near the Panmunjom truce village. He was also expected to visit an observation post and greet U.S. and South Korean troops.

Trump told reporters at a news conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he and Kim will “just shake hands quickly and say hello” at the historic meeting at the Korean border village.

Trump on Saturday invited Kim to meet him at the border for a symbolic handshake. He expressed openness to briefly crossing into North Korean territory if Kim accepted.

Every president since Ronald Reagan has visited the 1953 armistice line, except for George H.W. Bush, who visited as vice president.

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