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Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un find themselves closer than ever

Donald Trump, Kim Jong-un find themselves closer than ever
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SEOUL: It's obvious to anyone who looks at a map but also, this week, especially noteworthy: The leaders of two nations that have squared off with harsh words and the threat of nuclear war are now closer to each other than New York City's Trump Tower is to the White House.

That's presuming North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is in fact in Pyongyang, which is likely, though not as definite as US President Donald Trump's presence in Seoul, the South Korean capital. The American leader was there on Tuesday, meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and urging Kim to "come to the table" and "make a deal."
The proximity of Trump and Kim this week is an interesting blip and, probably, little more. But it underscores a daily fact of life for the residents of the two Koreas' capitals: Their seats of government, mortal enemies linked by a common heritage, spend every day virtually breathing down each other's geographic necks.
Seoul, home to the Blue House where South Korea's president works, is just 125 miles (200 kilometers) from Pyongyang's Kim Il Sung Square and the heart of the North Korean regime. New York City, by comparison, is 205 miles (330 kilometers) from Washington, DC.
Trump will not get as near as he might to Pyongyang, however. On this trip, at least, he is not visiting the Demilitarized Zone that marks the border between North Korea and South Korea.
Donald Trump, on his first day on the Korean peninsula, signaled a willingness to negotiate with North Korea to end its nuclear weapons program, urging Pyongyang to "come to the table" and "make a deal."
In a notable shift from his aggressive rhetoric toward North Korea, Trump took a more optimistic tone Tuesday, suggesting that "ultimately, it'll all work out." And while he said the United States would use military force if needed, he expressed his strongest inclination yet to deal with rising tensions with Pyongyang through diplomacy.
"It makes sense for North Korea to come to the table and make a deal that is good for the people of North Korea and for the world,'' Trump said during a news conference alongside South Korean president Moon Jae-in. "I do see certain movement."
Trump said he's seen "a lot of progress'' in dealing with North Korea though he stopped short of saying whether he wanted direct diplomatic talks.
Trump also underlined the United States' military options, noting that three aircraft carrier groups and a nuclear submarine had been deployed to the region.

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