Donald Trump may visit North Korean border demilitarised zone

  • 11/10/2017
Fencing and Security towers along the Border near DMZ zone in South Korea
Photo credit: Getty

President Donald Trump may visit the heavily-fortified demilitarised zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea when he visits South Korea next month, according to Korean media reports.

The White House sent an advance team in late September to check candidate sites for Mr Trump's "special activity" in South Korea, a defence source was quoted as saying in Yonhap news.

Mr Trump was expected to send a significant message to North Korea, either verbally or "kinetically", during his first trip to the peninsula as US commander-in-chief, the source said.

The truce village of Panmunjom and the observation post, both inside the DMZ, were among locations Mr Trump was considering visiting, the source said.

Yonhap did not elaborate and the White House did not comment.

Mr Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un have been engaged in an increasingly bellicose exchange of rhetoric, with Mr Trump suggesting the military option was the only way to halt the North's missile and nuclear programs.

A trip to the DMZ, following in the footsteps of his predecessor, Barack Obama, and Vice President Mike Pence, would bring Mr Trump within yards of North Korean soldiers.

In recent weeks, North Korea has launched two missiles over Japan and conducted its sixth nuclear test, all in defiance of UN Security Council resolutions.

Last week, Mr Trump dismissed the idea of talks as a waste of time, a day after Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said Washington was maintaining open lines of communication with Kim Jong-un's government.

Reclusive North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty. The North regularly threatens to destroy the South and its main ally, the United States.

Mr Trump is scheduled to visit Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines starting from November 3.