Trump rules out DMZ for meeting with Kim

(170725) -- WASHINGTON, July 25, 2017 (Xinhua) -- U.S. President Donald Trump speaks at a joint press conference with visiting Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri (not in the picture) at the White House in Washington D.C., the United States, on July 25, 2017. U.S. President Donald Trump said at the joint press conference Tuesday that he won't let Syrian President Bashar al-Assad get away with the "horrible" actions he has done. (Xinhua/Yin Bogu)

Washington,¬†¬†¬†President Donald Trump on Wednesday ruled out the Demilitarised Zone separating the two Koreas as the site for his upcoming meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, saying that he will announce the location for the summit “within three days”.

“It will not be there,” he told reporters before a Cabinet meeting at the White House, when asked whether the meeting will take place in the DMZ, as many had speculated, Efe reported.

Trump said last week that he had already set a date and location for his meeting with Kim and that he would reveal that information very soon.

In late April, the president said that Singapore and the DMZ were two of the sites that were being considered for the meeting, but on Wednesday he did not explain whether his decision to rule out the DMZ means that the summit will take place in Singapore.

When asked if he thinks he deserves the Nobel Peace Prize for his negotiations with North Korea, Trump responded with uncharacteristic modesty.

“Everyone thinks so, but I would never say it. … The prize I want is victory for the world,” said the president.

Trump noted that at 2 am on Thursday morning he will travel to an airbase outside the capital along with Vice President Mike Pence to welcome the three US citizens – all with Korean heritage – recently released from prison by North Korea.

Kim Dong-chul, a businessman and pastor in his 60s, was sentenced to 10 years behind bars at hard labor by Pyongyang in 2016, and agricultural expert Kim Hak-song and former professor Tony Kim were arrested in North Korea in 2017.

“I appreciate Kim Jong-un for doing this,” said Trump, adding in a Twitter post that the three Americans released by Pyongyang are “wonderful gentlemen” and seem to be in good health.

He added that he had spoken by telephone with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, saying that he had provided excellent help in the matter.