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Trump arrives at DMZ for historic meeting with North Korea's Kim

President Donald Trump views North Korea from the Korean Demilitarized Zone from Observation Post Ouellette at Camp Bonifas in South Korea, Sunday, June 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

PANMUNJOM, Korea (AP) -- President Donald Trump made his first visit to the Korean Demilitarized Zone on Sunday for a historic meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong Un.

Peering into North Korea from Observation Post Ouellette before the meeting with Kim, Trump was briefed on the North's extensive artillery across the border that threatens the 35 million residents of Seoul, just over two dozen miles away. "All accessible by what they have in the mountains," Trump said.

Trump claimed to reporters that, after his first meeting with Kim last year, "all of the danger went away." He was accompanied by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who said it was the first time the leaders of the United States and South Korea were together at the Demilitarized Zone.

Trump and Moon greeted several dozen U.S. and South Korean troops guarding the Demilitarized Zone. Trump shook hands with the troops and received a gift of a golf jacket from the joint command. "You're doing a fantastic job," Trump told service members. "We're with you all the way."

The president departed Seoul aboard the Marine One presidential helicopter shortly after Moon announced Sunday, alongside Trump, that Kim had accepted Trump's invitation to meet at the heavily fortified site at the Korean border village of Panmunjom.

Trump told reporters before departing that he looked forward to seeing Kim and to "shake hands quickly and say hello."

The meeting between Trump and Kim would mark yet another historic first in the yearlong rapprochement between the U.S. and North Korea, which technically are still at war. It also would mark the return of face-to-face contact between the leaders since negotiations to end the North's nuclear program broke down during a summit in Vietnam in February.

President Donald Trump views North Korea from the Korean Demilitarized Zone from Observation Post Ouellette at Camp Bonifas in South Korea, Sunday, June 30, 2019. (AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Moon praised the two leaders for "being so brave" to hold the meeting and said, "I hope President Trump will go down in history as the president who achieves peace on Korean Peninsula."

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