Reports: Trump not planning to visit DMZ in Korea

By Allen Cone  |  Oct. 23, 2017 at 1:17 PM
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Oct. 23 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump is not planning to visit the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea when he visits Asia next week, a White House official said Monday.

Politico cited an official Monday in reporting the final details of the South Korean leg of the trip on Nov. 7-8 are still being worked out. A White House source also confirmed the report to The Washington Post.

"Security is not the concern," the official said.

Instead, Trump will visit Camp Humphreys, south of Seoul.

"The message is that we are guests during a state visit of [South Korean] President Moon Jae-in," an official told the Post. "He invited us to make the visit to Camp Humphreys."

Earlier this month, Yonhap reported that Trump was considering a trip to the DMZ, citing a Pentagon source.

An advance team of working-level White House officials checked sites for Trump's "special activity," according to the source. They included Panmunjom and the Observation Post Ouellette, both located inside the DMZ, which divided North and South Korea 64 years ago.

Every U.S. president except George H.W. Bush has visited the DMZ since Ronald Reagan. In 2012, President Barack Obama visited OP Ouellette, including looking through binocular toward the North. In April, Vice President Mike Pence visited the DMZ.

During Trump's trip from Nov. 3-14 to Asia -- his first across the Pacific -- he will also visit China, Japan, Vietnam and the Philippines. The trip, which will include a stopover in Hawaii, will mark his longest continuous trip since taking office.

Trump is planning bilateral meetings with Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, Moon, Chinese President Xi Jinping, Vietnamese President Tran Dai Quang and Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.

Trump, through his talks, plans to build pressure on North Korea to curb plans to develop nuclear missiles. He will become the first U.S. president to make a state visit to South Korea in 25 years, the White House announced last week.

Abe is preparing to play a round of golf with Trump. They played golf during Abe's visit to Mar-a-Lago in Florida last spring.

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