May 9, 2018 / 4:46 PM / 2 months ago

Trump says U.S.-North Korea summit will not be at demilitarized zone

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday he will announce the site for a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un within three days and it will not be held at the demilitarized zone along the border between the two Koreas.

“It will not be there,” he told reporters at the start of a Cabinet meeting at the White House when asked if the planned meeting would be at the DMZ. “We’re going to announce it within three days.”

Trump, who scrapped a visit to the truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarized zone due to bad weather during a visit last year, suggested in April that the DMZ would be an excellent venue for his summit with Kim.

Kim met South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the end of April at a building in Panmunjom known as the Peace House. Trump suggested that having the summit at Peace House would carry a symbolic value that having it in a third country would not.

But the U.S. president also has said the two sides were considering other places as a possible site for the summit, including Singapore.

“People never thought you were going to have a situation where we’re having serious and positive communications with North Korea. And we are,” Trump told reporters as his top diplomat was en route home from North Korea, where he was given three U.S. citizens who had been detained there.

“What happens? Who knows,” Trump said. “We have a chance at something very great for the world.”

North Korea released three American prisoners and handed them over to U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday, clearing a major obstacle to the summit.

Slideshow (2 Images)

Reporting by Jim Oliphant; Writing by David Alexander; Editing by Tim Ahmann and Alistair Bell

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