North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has agreed to hold his widely anticipated meeting with President Donald Trump in the Peace House on the South Korean side of the demilitarized zone, CNN reports.
South Korean president Moon Jae-in reportedly convinced Kim to agree to the proposed venue after Trump expressed his desire to hold the upcoming talks in the border village of Panmujon — the setting of the historic summit between Moon and Kim last Friday.
Kim became the first North Korean leader to cross into the South for that meeting, which resulted in a joint pledge to work toward the “complete denuclearization” of the peninsula and the official end of the decades-old Korean War.
Trump reportedly appreciated the symbolism of the location and the comprehensive television coverage the meeting received and told Moon over the weekend that he wished to replicate the summit when he meets with Kim in the coming weeks.
The president echoed that sentiment in comments to reporters Monday.
“There’s something I like about it, because you’re there, if things work out, there’s a great celebration to be had on the site, not in a third-party country,” he said.
There is a “strong possibility” that Trump’s venue preference will be accommodated and the U.S. delegation may even be invited to cross the border into North Korea for certain events, an official with knowledge of North Korea’s thinking told CNN.
However, some members of the administration remain concerned about the possibility that Trump, excited by the symbolism and optics of a DMZ meeting, will be too eager to make a deal with Kim. Those skeptics continue to advocate for a neutral country, such as Singapore, to host the meeting.
Moon’s spokesman appeared to endorse Trump’s desire to meet on the DMZ when asked about the plans on Tuesday.
“(We) think Panmunjom is quite meaningful as a place to erode the divide and establish a new milestone for peace,” the spokesperson told reporters. “Wouldn’t Panmunjom be the most symbolic place?”