Donald Trump said talks with North Korea at DMZ could lead to ‘great celebration’

President Trump said Monday he favors talks with North Korea’s Kim Jong-un at the demilitarized zone with South Korea because the location would give rise to “a great celebration” if Pyongyang agrees to abandon its nuclear weapons.

At a White House press conference, Mr. Trump said he spoke to South Korean President Moon Jae-in about the idea, and Mr. Moon has conveyed the proposal to North Korea.

“I threw it out today as an idea,” Mr. Trump said of a possible meeting a the Peace House at the DMZ. “There’s something that I like about it because you’re there — you’re actually there, where if things work out, there’s a great celebration to be had on the site, not in a third-party country. So we are looking at the possibility of doing it in that location.”

Mr. Trump is planning to meet with Mr. Kim within four weeks to negotiate the communist nation’s denuclearization and abandonment of its ballistic missile program. Among the sites being mentioned are Singapore and Mongolia.

The president said, “the good news — everybody wants us. It has the chance to be a big event.”

Although North Korea has a history of breaking its commitments to the U.S., Mr. Trump said Mr. Kim “has been very open and very straightforward so far.”

“I can only say again, ‘so far,’ ” Mr. Trump said. “He’s talking about getting rid of the [nuclear testing] site, which was their big site, he’s talking about no research, no launching of ballistic missiles, no nuclear testing. He has lived up to that for a long period of time, a longer period of time than anyone has seen.”

North Korea conducted a powerful underground nuclear test last September, and Mr. Kim ordered a series of missile launches throughout 2017. On April 21, North Korea said it would suspend those activities ahead of planned talks with South Korea and with Mr. Trump.

The president said he’s optimistic that the summit will take place, although he reiterated he’s prepared to walk away from the negotiating table if the talks aren’t going well.

“Got to get rid of the nuclear weapons,” Mr. Trump said. “If it’s not a success, I will very respectfully leave. It’s very simple.”

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