Updated at 9:55 p.m. ET
President Trump issued a surprise invitation to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un for a handshake meeting this weekend along the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea.
The invitation came in a tweet, as Trump wrapped up meetings with other world leaders at the G-20 summit in Osaka, Japan.
Talks aimed at ending North Korea’s outlawed nuclear program broke down in February when Trump walked away from a summit with Kim in Hanoi, Vietnam, without an agreement. In recent days, however, Trump and Kim exchanged personal messages. Trump offered to meet with Kim during his upcoming visit to South Korea.
The president characterized the invite as a last-minute idea, and worked to limit expectations.
“I just thought of it this morning,” Trump told reporters, during a photo-op on the sidelines of the G-20. “I just put out a feeler because I don’t know where he is right now. He may not be in North Korea.”
There had already been speculation Trump would visit the DMZ during his weekend trip to South Korea. He tried to visit the heavily guarded border in 2017 but was foiled by bad weather.
“We’ll see,” Trump said of the possible handshake with Kim. “If he’s there we’ll see each other for two minutes. That’s all we can. But that will be fine.”
While Trump gave the appearance of the kind of improvisational, seat-of-the-pants deal-making he championed in the business world, there may actually be more preparation behind his invitation than the president is letting on.
Trump discussed a possible meeting with Kim at the DMZ on Monday during an interview with The Hill newspaper. The White House asked the newspaper to withhold the information, citing security concerns.