WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump on Monday recommended that his upcoming summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un be held at the Peace House in the Truce Village at the border of North and South Korea — the same location where historic talks between Kim and South Korea’s president were held last week.
“Numerous countries are being considered for the MEETING, but would Peace House/Freedom House, on the Border of North & South Korea, be a more Representative, Important and Lasting site than a third party country? Just asking!” Trump tweeted.
Later, at a joint news conference with the president of Nigeria at the White House, Trump said Singapore and the Demilitarized Zone, which separates North and South Korea, were on the short list of locations being considered for the summit.
Trump stated his preference for the Demilitarized Zone, commonly referred to as the DMZ or Truce Village, telling reporters, “There’s something that I like about it because you’re there, you’re actually there, where if things work out, there’s a great celebration to be had on the site, not in a third-party country.”
The president’s remarks come as his administration and North Korean officials continue to hammer out details for the high-stakes denuclearization talks that are expected to occur in the coming weeks. On Saturday, at a rally in Michigan, Trump told the crowd the meeting would take place in the “next three or four weeks.”
“It’s going be a very important meeting, the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula, but we’ll see how it goes. I may go in, it may not work out, I leave,” Trump told the rallygoers.
Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in held denuclearization talks last week at the Peace House. During those talks, Kim reportedly told Moon that North Korea will abandon its nuclear weapons program if the United States commits to formally ending the Korean War and promises not to invade North Korea. The Korean War, for which an armistice was signed in 1953, was never formally brought to a close with a peace treaty.
“If we meet often and build trust with the United States and if an end to the war and nonaggression are promised, why would we live in difficulty with nuclear weapons?” Kim told Moon, according to an account provided by South Korea’s government to The New York Times on Sunday.
On Monday, Moon suggested that Trump should be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, crediting Trump with creating the conditions for North and South Korea to meet.
“President Trump should win the Nobel Peace Prize. The only thing we need is peace,” Moon told his top aides at a meeting, according to media reports.