Trump forced to scrap DMZ visit due to bad weather

Trump forced to scrap DMZ visit due to bad weather
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President Trump scrapped a surprise visit to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) separating North and South Korea due to bad weather, according to the White House.

Trump attempted to fly on Marine One from Seoul, South Korea, to the heavily guarded area dividing the Korean Peninsula early Wednesday morning, but had to turn back due to fog.

The president had made it most of the way to the DMZ before the decision was made to return to Seoul.

The visit was planned amid heightened tensions between Washington and North Korea.

It would have come just hours before Trump’s speech to South Korea's National Assembly, which is expected to focus heavily on North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's nuclear ambitions.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters that Trump was disappointed not to have been able to make the trip.
"He's actually pretty frustrated," she said.

Sanders said the White House had been planning the visit “for a little while,” since before Trump left on his marathon Asia trip, adding that it was "something the president wanted to do."

The White House declared last Tuesday that Trump would not follow in his predecessors' footsteps and would skip a visit to the DMZ during his two-day stay in South Korea.

A senior administration official said Trump would instead visit Camp Humphreys, a U.S. military installation south of Seoul, to highlight the two countries’ military cooperation.

The official said that visit, which occurred Tuesday, would not leave enough time for a DMZ stop. A number of top Trump administration figures, including Vice President Pence, have visited the area and the official said the practice is “becoming a bit of a cliche.”

Sanders said Wednesday, however, Trump's DMZ visit would have been a "historic moment" because South Korean President Moon Jae-in planned to join him.

She said it would have been the first time a U.S. and South Korean president visited the area together.

The stop has become a ritual for presidents looking to show U.S. resolve against North Korea’s increasing aggression.

Nearly every commander in chief since Ronald Reagan has visited the area accompanied by an American entourage and peered across the border with binoculars into the North.

Trump on multiple occasions appeared to hint that a visit was possible, including during his toast Tuesday night at a state dinner with Moon.

“This is an exciting time, and we're going to have an exciting day tomorrow, for many reasons that people will find out,” Trump said.