President Donald Trump is not expected to visit the DMZ between North Korea and South Korea during his trip to Asia in early November.
The White House said the president will visit Camp Humphreys, a military base about 40 miles south of Seoul, “although plans could still change,” reports the Associated Press.
Trump was reported to be considering a visit the demilitarized zone, or DMZ, between North and South Korea, according to Yonhap News Agency.
The news agency, based in Seoul, South Korea, said the Trump Administration has sent an advance team, which sets up security and logistics for the president and his staff ahead of the trip. The White House dispatched an advance team of working-level officials in late September to check candidate sites for Trump’s “special activity” here, according to the source.
“They looked around Panmunjom and Observation Post Ouellette,” a source told Yonhap News agency on the condition of anonymity. Both of those locations are in the DMZ, a neutral zone on the border of the two countries that was created at the end of the Korean War.
The source said that Trump wants to send a message to North Korea during his visit, either verbally or “kinetically.”
“Trump will likely do something like that and his aides are making the relevant preparations,” the source told Yonhap News Agency.
Most U.S. presidents have visited the border as a signal to South Korea and other allies that the U.S. will not stand for any aggression from the rogue North Korean regime.
Vice President Mike Pence visited the DMZ earlier this year.
Trump has increased his rhetoric about North Korea and its nuclear capabilities since taking office, often via Twitter.
Trump tweeted recently that “only one thing will work” when it comes to dealing with North Korea, but didn’t specify what that was.
At a United Nations General Assembly meeting in New York last month, Trump referred to North Korean dictator Kim Jung Un as “Rocket Man” and said he was “on a suicide mission.
“Rocket Man is on a suicide mission for himself and for his regime,” he said.
“It is an outrage that not only would some nations trade with such a regime, but would army, supply and financially support a country that imperils the world with nuclear conflict,” Trump said. “No nation on Earth has an interest in seeing this band of criminals arm itself with nuclear weapons and missiles.”
“The United States has great strength and patience. But if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea,” he said.
Defense Secretary James Mattis told the audience at the recent Association of the United States Army in Washington, D.C. to “stand ready” when asked about increasing tensions with North Korea.
“We currently are in a diplomatically-led effort, and how many times did you see in the U.N. Security Council vote unanimously, now twice in a row, to impose stronger sanctions on North Korea? And remember, the Security Council has countries like France and Russia, China, the United States — you know who’s on there — and all voted unanimously on this,” Mattis said.
“The international community has spoken, but that means the U.S. Army must stand ready. And so, if you’re ready, that’s your duty at this point in time. And I know the Army will always do it’s duty,” he said.
After North Korea conducted a test last month of a hydrogen bomb that can fit on an intercontinental ballistic missile, Trump was asked if he planned to attack the rogue nation. Trump responded: “We’ll see.”