Trump mulls visit to North-South Korean border
Share this on

Trump mulls visit to North-South Korean border

Amid escalating tension between the US and North Korea, US President Donald Trump is reportedly planning a visit to the demilitarised zone (DMZ) that divides North and South Korea during his visit to the latter next month.

The South’s state media Yonhap News (via Reuters) cited a defence source for this information, who added that the White House had dispatched an advance team of working-level officials in late September to view possible sites for Trump’s”special activity” in South Korea.

The DMZ refers to a heavily fortified area about 240 #km across the Korean peninsula and 4km wide, that divides North and South Korea. The two nations, technically at war since the 1950s, have heavy military presence in the area.

The source said Trump was considering visiting two locations inside the DMZ: the truce village of Panmujom and the observation post.

Trump is slated to send a “significant message” to the North during his visit to its Southern neighbour. It would take the form of either a verbal or “kinetic” message, Yonhap News reported without further elaboration.

According to Bong Youngshik, a researcher at Yonsei University’s Institute for North Korean Studies, the DMZ visit fits Trump’s appetite of “high theatrics”.

“The image of him narrowing his eyes to stare across the DMZ. It is tweeting by another means,” Bong said in an email to Bloomberg News.

“Mr Trump may also think that if it provokes Pyongyang, all the better.”

Trump will be travelling to several Asian countries from Nov 3-14. South Korea has been announced as one of the countries, but a detailed itinerary has yet to be released, according to Bloomberg News.

This possible visit to the DMZ comes in the midst of heightened tension between the US and North Korea, most prominently through barbs traded between its respective heads of state.

Trump is reportedly uninterested in direct talks with the North and has been tweeting cryptic messages on what would it take stop Kim Jong Un’s regime and its nuclear weapons programme aimed at hitting the US mainland:

When asked what these tweets meant, Trump replied: “Well, you’ll figure that out pretty soon.”

Meanwhile, North Korean state media reported Kim on Sunday describing his nuclear weapons as a “powerful deterrent firmly safeguarding the peace and security in the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia”, referring to the “protracted nuclear threats of the US imperialists.”

SEE ALSO: North Korea urged to opt for peace amid ‘extreme’ danger of nuclear war

In recent weeks, North Korea has launched two missiles over Japan and conducted its sixth nuclear test, and maybe fast advancing toward its goal of developing a nuclear-tipped missile capable of hitting the west coast of the US, according to Russian lawmaker Anton Morozov who had just returned from a visit to Pyongyang last Friday.