President Donald Trump will not visit the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) when he visits South Korea next week, a senior administration official told reporters Tuesday.
The president will embark on his longest trip to date from Nov. 3 to Nov. 14, with stops in Hawaii, Japan, South Korea, China, Vietnam and the Philippines.
While in South Korea, Trump will meet with American and South Korean troops at Camp Humphreys around the DMZ. Trump last week said that reporters “will be surprised” if he visits the border with North Korea.
However, a senior administration official speaking on the condition of anonymity, cleared up that a presidential visit to the DMZ will not take place.
“DMZ — the President is not going to visit the DMZ. There is not enough time in the schedule. It would have had to have been the DMZ or Camp Humphreys. No President has visited Camp Humphreys and we thought that that made more sense in terms of its messaging, in terms of the chance to address families and troops there, and to highlight — really, at President Moon’s invitation — South Korea’s role in sharing the burden of supporting this critical alliance,” the official said.
“So it’s been a minority of American Presidents who have visited the DMZ since the end of the Korean War. It’s fewer than half,” stated the senior administrator. “We just had Secretary Mattis there last week at the DMZ. We had Vice President Pence there earlier this year. Secretary Tillerson was there. It’s becoming a little bit of a cliché, frankly. And that’s why he’s going to be down at Humphreys.”