SEOUL – In a made-for-television event of more symbolism than substance, President Donald Trump met Sunday with Kim Jong Un in the Demilitarized Zone between North and South Korea and became the first U.S. president to step onto North Korean territory.
"Stepping across that line was a great honor," Trump told Kim after walking with him on the North Korean side of the border. He said "a lot of progress has been made" in the wake of their two summits in Singapore and Vietnam.
After meeting with Kim for nearly an hour, Trump said both sides will set up "teams" to revive negotiations to dismantle North Korea's nuclear weapons programs, a goal that has been elusive for years.
Trump called it a "legendary" day that could lead to progress.
Kim told Trump, "I did not expect to see you at this place" before reminding him he would be the first U.S. president to cross into North Korea. Kim clapped when Trump stepped onto North Korean territory.
Later, while being questioned by American reporters, Kim lauded Trump for a "determined and courageous visit" designed to "bring an end to the unpleasant past."
Though Trump had said the meeting would be little more than a quick handshake, he and Kim wound up speaking for close to an hour in a nearby building. They reemerged for another stroll along the border, followed by armies of camera-wielding journalists and security personnel.
Photographers, reporters and security guards jostled for position and yelled at one another to get out of the way. Kim chuckled over the pandemonium. Trump grinned frequently during his chats with the North Korean leader.