- President Donald Trump has reportedly decided not to visit the demilitarized zone between North Korea and South Korea.
- Trump’s secretary of state, secretary of defence, and vice president have all visited the DMZ.
- One official reportedly said the trips had become “cliche.”
- Trump would have come face to face with armed North Korean guards amid record high tensions on the peninsula if he went.
President Donald Trump will not visit the demilitarized border zone between North Korea and South Korea during his November trip to Asia, multiple sources have reported.
Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, Secretary of Defence Jim Mattis, and Vice President Mike Pence have all visited the DMZ within the last few months.
“It’s becoming a bit of a cliche, frankly,” a White House official said, according to Washington Post reporter David Nakamura.
Every president except for George W. Bush has visited the DMZ since Ronald Reagan, but no president has ever taken such a vocally hostile line towards North Korea as Trump has. Trump has threatened to “totally destroy” the country with “fire and fury,” far more colourful statements than any of his predecessors.
Trump’s time in office has marked a sharp increase in tensions between the US and North Korea, two nations still technically at war since 1950. North Korea’s accelerated pace of nuclear and missile testing and Trump’s often inflammatory rhetoric have stoked the flames.
The White House’s decision follows reports that some advisers feared for Trump’s safety at the border, where armed North Korean guards stand around the clock and countless episodes of violence have broken out over the decades.
Other advisers reportedly feared that Trump would engage in more fiery rhetoric, which could cause an incident at the tense border.
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