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Kim Jong Un ‘surprised’ by Trump’s tweet to meet him at the DMZ

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he was “surprised” by President Donald Trump’s abrupt Twitter invitation to meet him at the North-South Korean border on Sunday afternoon.

Surrounded by reporters inside a South Korean-controlled building at the border, Kim told Trump that some people speculated if the meeting was pre-arranged through official letters sent between the two leaders. Trump and Kim have exchanged numerous official letters during their tenure, some of which have not been publicly revealed.

“To be honest, I was surprised after I saw the president express his intention,” Kim said, adding that he did not know until late afternoon that he would be “formally” meeting Trump.

Prior to leaving the G-20 summit in Japan, Trump tweeted he would be willing to meet with Kim at the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea.

“After some very important meetings … I will be leaving Japan for South Korea (with President Moon),” Trump said in the tweet. “While there, if Chairman Kim of North Korea sees this, I would meet him at the Border/DMZ just to shake his hand and say Hello(?)!”

Read more: ‘This is a great friendship’: Trump invites Kim Jong Un to the White House after crossing North Korean border to shake hands

“I just put out a feeler because I don’t know where he is right now,” Trump told reporters at the Imperial Hotel Osaka in Japan. “He may not be in North Korea.”

North Korea’s First Vice Foreign Minister Choe Son-hui responded to Trump’s tweet and described it as “very interesting,” adding that the country has “not received an official proposal in this regard,” according to a Yonhap News report citing North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency.

Trump met Kim at the military demarcation line separating the border at around 3:45 p.m. local time and shook the leader’s hand — a similar scene to that of the first summit between Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in in April 2018.

After the two leaders exchanged pleasantries, Kim invited Trump to step over the line and into the North Korean side of the border. Trump briefly stepped over the line and took several steps into North Korea, pausing to take several photos with Kim.

Trump became the first sitting-US president to step into North Korea. Photographers and videographers, including ones from North Korea, scrambled over each other to take footage of the historic moment, prompting security personnel to shout verbal warnings.

Trump and Kim later held a roughly 45-minute bilateral meeting at the Freedom House on the southern side of the DMZ. Following the meeting, Trump walked Kim back to the military demarcation line.

Trump told reporters he invited Kim to visit the White House in Washington DC: “At some point, it’ll all happen.”

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