Trump says an honour to cross into North Korea

Donald Trump y Kim Jong-un

President Donald Trump is calling it a "great honour" to have become the first American president to cross the Korean Demilitarised 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.

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

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Trump meets Kim Jong-Un in DMZ
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Trump meets Kim Jong-Un in DMZ
President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, Sunday, June 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (Susan Walsh/AP)

The US president briefly crossed the border as he renewed ties after previous meetings in Singapore and Vietnam.

President Donald Trump views North Korea from the Korean Demilitarized Zone from Observation Post Ouellette at Camp Bonifas in South Korea, Sunday, June 30, 2019 with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea, Sunday, June 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)
A cap showing letters of Panmunjom and Demilitarized Zone, is placed at a souvenir shop at the Imjingak Pavilion in Paju, South Korea, Sunday, June 30, 2019. U.S. President Donald Trump said Sunday he believes North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants to meet for a handshake at the Demilitarized Zone separating the North and South, a day after issuing the unprecedented invitation and expressing willingness to cross the border for what would be a history-making photo op. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)
The US president briefly crossed the border as he renewed ties after previous meetings in Singapore and Vietnam.
Donald Trump y Kim Jong-un
The US president briefly crossed the border as he renewed ties after previous meetings in Singapore and Vietnam.
South Korean people watch a live broadcast on a meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and U.S. President Donald Trump at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas, in Seoul
El presidente Donald Trump estrecha la mano del líder norcoreano Kim Jong Un mientras ambos posan para los fotógrafos en la zona desmilitarizada entre ambas Coreas, el domingo 30 de junio de 2019. (Foto AP/Susan Walsh)
President Donald Trump made his first visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone on Sunday for a historic meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.
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)
With grins and handshakes, President Donald Trump welcomed North Korea's Kim Jong Un at the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone Sunday, seeking to revive talks on the pariah nation's nuclear program in a bid for a legacy-defining accord. Trump then became the first American leader to step into North Korea.The brief photo-op, another historic first in the yearlong rapprochement between the two technically warring nations, marks a return to face-to-face contact between the leaders since talks broke down during a summit in Vietnam in February. But it does little to erase significant doubts that remain about the future of the negotiations and the North's willingness to give up its stockpile of nuclear weapons.Trump's brief crossing into North Korean territory marked the latest milestone in two years of roller-coaster diplomacy between the two nations, as personal taunts of "little rocket man" and threats to destroy the other have been ushered out by on-again, off-again talks, professions of love and flowery letters."It's a great honour to be here," Trump said, "It is a great day for the world." Kim hailed the moment, saying of Trump, "I believe this is an expression of his willingness to eliminate unfortunate past and into a new future."Peering into North Korea from atop Observation Post Ouellette, Trump told reporters that there has been "tremendous" improvement since his first meeting with the North's leader in Singapore last year.Trump claimed the situation used to be marked by "tremendous danger" but "after our first summit, all of the danger went away."But North has yet to provide an accounting of its nuclear stockpile, let alone begin the process of dismantling its arsenal.The meeting at the truce city of Panmunjom also represented a striking acknowledgement by Trump of the authoritarian Kim's legitimacy over a nation with an abysmal human rights record.Trump's summit with Kim in Vietnam earlier this year collapsed without an agreement for denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula. He became the first sitting U.S. president to meet with the leader of the isolated nation last year, when they signed an agreement in Singapore to bring the North toward denuclearization.___Follow Miller on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@zekejmiller and Lemire at http://twitter.com/@JonLemireZeke Miller And Jonathan Lemire, The Associated Press
North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (centre L) meets with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (C) as US President Donald Trump (centre R) look on south of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
El presidente estadounidense Donald Trump y el líder norcoreano Kim Jong Un en la zona de demarcación entre las dos Coreas el 30 de junio de 2019 en Panmunjom
Support helicopters follow the Marine One helicopter carrying President Donald Trump to the demilitarized zone (DMZ) as they take off from Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, June 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin, Pool)
President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone, South Korea. It's their third meeting.
US President Donald Trump steps into the northern side of the Military Demarcation Line that divides North and South Korea, as North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un looks on, in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) on June 30, 2019. (Photo by Brendan Smialowski / AFP) (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
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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.

Before the historic meeting, Trump met with several dozen troops stationed at the Korean Demilitarised Zone separating South and North Korea and telling them, "We're with you all the way."

The troops include both US 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 US troops on the Korean Peninsula in light of the US-South Korea trade deficit.

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