Seoul officials recommended Panmunjom as U.S.-North Korea summit venue

Seoul officials recommended Panmunjom as U.S.-North Korea summit venue

SEOUL, May 6 (UPI) — South Korean officials have “strongly recommended” the inter-Korean border village of Panmunjom as the summit venue for U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, a Seoul lawmaker said Sunday.

Kim Jong-dae, a legislator of the minor liberal Justice Party, wrote on his Facebook page during his trip to Washington with presidential advisor Moon Chung-in, that Panmunjom had been suggested to officials close to Trump, who said they would “review the idea and clearly report it to President Trump.”

Last month, Seoul and Pyongyang held a summit at the southern side of the border village, where South and North Korean soldiers stand face-to-face across the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) which has divided the two Koreas since 1953.

This comes as many await the announcement of the summit location, after Trump hinted last week that the venue would be confirmed within days.

Given the significance of Panmunjom as well as the fact that security measures have already been installed due to the inter-Korean summit, many speculate the Washington-Pyongyang summit will also be held at the village.

Seoul officials have said the village holds symbolic value, as the two Koreas concluded the Panmunjom Declaration on ending war and deuclearization at the venue. Trump has also floated the idea of meeting Kim Jong Un there.

Experts say other possible venues could be Singapore or Ulaanbaatar.

Lawmaker Kim said Sunday, “[Holding the summit in Panmunjom] is the best way to guarantee a successful summit while maximising the historic value of the U.S.-North Korea summit” and that “it adds meaning for a trilateral summit between South and North Korea and the United States.”

He added that holding the Washington-Pyongyang talks in Singapore does not add any significance, Yonhap reported

Experts say the U.S. president is most likely holding back from announcing the summit date and venue to maximise media anticipation.

“We now have a date and we have a location. We’ll be announcing it soon,” Trump told reporters Friday.

“If it has already been decided, it appears he [Trump] is trying to create a more dramatic impact,” said Park Won-gon, professor of Handong Global University said, “It seems President Trump is dragging it out to maximise interest before making the announcement.”