Democrats slam Trump for meeting with Kim Jong Un

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President Trump is back in Washington after a surprising end to his trip to Asia. He met Kim Jong Un at the North Korean border and became the first sitting American president to cross that frontier.

Donald Trump has become the first sitting US president to set foot in North Korea, after meeting Kim Jong-un in the area dividing the two Koreas.

Mr Trump and the North Korean leader posed for handshakes before talking for nearly an hour in the heavily fortified demilitarised zone (DMZ).

Both countries agreed to set up teams to resume stalled nuclear talks.

Their last summit broke down in February with no progress on denuclearisation in North Korea.

Critics have dismissed the occasion – the two leaders’ third face-to-face encounter in just over a year – as a political theatre and say North Korea still needs to show that it is serious in getting rid of its nuclear weapons.

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What happened at the DMZ?
In a meeting apparently arranged after Mr Trump invited Mr Kim on Twitter on Saturday, they shook hands across the demarcation line between the Koreas before Mr Trump briefly crossed into North Korea, a symbolic milestone.

“Good to see you again. I never expected to meet you at this place,” a smiley Mr Kim told Mr Trump through an interpreter in an encounter broadcast live on international television.

“Big moment,” Mr Trump said, “tremendous progress.”

Looking relaxed, Mr Kim crossed into South Korea and alongside Mr Trump said: “I believe this is an expression of his willingness to eliminate all the unfortunate past and open a new future.”

Trump-Kim meeting as it happened
In pictures: Smiles and handshakes at DMZ
The encounter had initially been billed as a short greeting but Mr Trump and Mr Kim ended up talking for almost an hour in a building known as the Freedom House, on the South Korean side.

For a brief moment, Mr Trump and Mr Kim were joined by South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, an unprecedented three-way gathering.

Speaking next to Mr Trump in a rare statement to the press, Mr Kim said the meeting was a symbol of their “excellent” relationship.

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Calling their friendship “particularly great”, Mr Trump – who once referred to Mr Kim as “little rocket man” – said it was a “great day for the world” and that he was “proud to step over the line” between the Koreas.

North Korean media have yet to mention the talks – including in the 20:00 (11:00 GMT) Korean Central TV bulletin – although typically they wait until the next day to report on the news.

Have other US presidents visited?
A number have been to the armistice line that has divided the peninsula since the Korean War ended in 1953, largely to show support for the South.

Both Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have been to North Korea, flying into the capital, Pyongyang, but only after they left office.

Barack Obama wore a bomber jacket and binoculars for his visit to the armistice line. Mr Trump changed the optics, opting for a business suit.

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