The world was watching history being made and overnight millions of Americans stayed up to watch the first sitting U.S. president cross into North Korea. President Trump and North Korea’s Chairman Kim Jong-un took a massive step toward deconfliction and peace.
An incredible moment. WATCH:
CTH doesn’t want to devalue the history of this moment by over analyzing the dynamic. This is an incredible moment in history as U.S. President Donald Trump carries the hopes of tens-of-millions toward a peaceful outcome in North Korea.
At 3:44pm ROK Time, President Trump walked out of Freedom House towards the military demarcation line between South and North Korea, located between the two famous blue huts.
The North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, wearing his traditional Mao suit, was walking down the stairs towards him on the Northern side of the line.
At 3:45pm, the President Trump and Chairman Kim leaders shook hands over the concrete slab that forms the military demarcation line between South and North Korea. “Good to see you again”, said Kim in English, adding that he would have “never expected” to see President Trump “at this place”.
At 3:46pm, President Trump crossed the demarcation line, becoming the first sitting US president to ever step into North Korea. President Trump then walked a few meters into the North together with Kim. “Good progress, good progress”, he said as the two leaders crossed back to the South.
Asked to recount the moment and first words with Kim when they approached the North-South line of demarcation, President Trump later said he asked Kim: “would you like me to come across. Kim said he would be honored. It was my honor to do it,” said Pres Trump.
After Chariman Kim crossed into South Korea the two leaders briefly spoke to media before greeting South Korean President Moon Jae-in (grinning ear to ear), and then going into the Freedom House for bilateral discussions. Trump and Kim talked for around an hour. Notably Moon Jae-in went into a separate room to allow privacy, and President Trump’s closest staff also left after a few minutes. Suffice to say, the outcome was much more than a handshake; and initial reactions from Asian media were stunning and excited.
President Trump, Chairman Kim and Moon Jae-in emerged from the Freedom House at 4:51pm after the Trump-Kim bilateral meeting that lasted more than 45 minutes. Together all three leaders walked back together towards the demarcation line between North and South Korea. President Trump and Chairman Kim exchanged words for a few seconds and shook hands before the North Korean leader crossed back, alone, to the North of Panmunjom at 4:53pm.
President Trump and President Moon debrief the media (prompted just hit play):
South Korean President Moon said of the Trump-Kim agreement to set up new diplomatic teams as overcoming a hurdle. Speaking through a translator, Moon called it good news for the 80-million people on the Korean peninsula seeking an end to nuclear weapons. Calling it “a big step forward.”