News ID: 203518
Published: 0515 GMT October 31, 2017

Donald Trump will not visit North Korea border during trip to Asia

Donald Trump will not visit North Korea border during trip to Asia

US President Donald Trump will not pay a visit to the heavily guarded demilitarized zone (DMZ) separating the two Koreas in his upcoming tour to Asia, according to a senior administration official.

“The president is not going to visit the DMZ. There is not enough time in the schedule,” the official told reporters in a background briefing on Tuesday.

Trump prepares for a 12-day trip to five Asian countries-- Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines-- next month to bolster international pressure on Pyongyang.

Earlier, Trump had said that he might visit DMZ.

While American foreign policy veterans who served under former presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush have advised trump to make the trip, South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s administration and the Trump’s own State Department have expressed worry that a trip would increase tensions between the two sides.

US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis visited the demilitarized zone last week.

In April, US Vice President Mike Pence visited the DMZ, saying he made the trip so the North Koreans could “see our resolve in my face.”

The Republican president has already ratcheted up tensions over Pyongyang’s ballistic missile and nuclear weapons programs by mocking North Korean leader Kim Jung-un as “Little Rocket Man” and declaring in his debut United Nations General Assembly speech last month that America was ready to “totally destroy” the North if necessary.

Ever since former President Ronald Reagan toured the DMZ in 1983, George H.W. Bush is the only US president not to visit it.



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