WH says Trump likely will not visit Korean DMZ

WH says Trump likely will not visit Korean DMZ
© Greg Nash
 
A senior White House official said Trump has been invited to tour Camp Humphreys, a U.S. Army installation located 40 miles south of the South Korean capital of Seoul. 
 
“It’s going to be very difficult to visit both,” the official told reporters. 
 
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But the official cautioned that no final decision has been made and added that “security is not a concern” keeping Trump from the heavily guarded DMZ. 
 
Past presidents have visited the border region to show the U.S. commitment to standing up against North Korean aggression, leading to speculation Trump would follow suit. 
 
Vice President Pence paid a visit to the DMZ in April, where he donned a military-style jacket and glared across the border into North Korea. 
 
“I thought it was important that people on the other side of the DMZ see our resolve in my face,” he said at the time. 
 
But some aides and regional experts have feared a presidential visit would set off a fuse in the nuclear standoff between the U.S. and North Korea. 
 
“I didn't hear in terms of provoking, but we will certainly take a look at that,” Trump said last week when asked if he would visit the DMZ. 
 
The 2.5-mile wide strip of land has separated the two Koreas since the nations signed an armistice in 1953. 
 
The area is surrounded by barbed wire and heavy artillery and soldiers from both sides face each other every day.
 
Curbing North Korea’s nuclear ambitions will be a major focus of Trump’s 12-day visit to Asia, which includes stops in South Korea, Japan, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
 
The senior White House official said Camp Humphreys was selected as a destination because it is a “great example of burden-sharing,” noting the South Koreans paid for an expansion of the base.