Trump cancels visit to Korea demilitarized zone

Trump scraps surprise visit to the demilitarized zone separating North Korea and South Korea due to bad weather.

Elad Benari,

Donald Trump
Donald Trump

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday scrapped a surprise visit to the demilitarized zone separating North Korea and South Korea due to bad weather, said the White House, according to The Hill.

Trump attempted to fly on Marine One from Seoul to the heavily guarded area dividing the Korean Peninsula early Wednesday morning local time, but had to turn back due to fog.

The president had made it most of the way to the DMZ before the decision was made to return to Seoul, the report said.

Trump is currently on a 12-day tour of Asia, which began Sunday in Japan. He is now in South Korea, where he is to speak before the National Assembly.

The visit was planned amid heightened tensions between Washington and Pyongyang due to North Korea's ballistic missile and nuclear tests.

The North has denounced Trump as a "mentally deranged U.S. dotard," while Trump has mocked North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as "Little Rocket Man" and has vowed to rain "fire and fury" down on the North if it threatens the United States or its allies.

In an interview earlier this week, however, Trump softened his tone and said he would "certainly be open" to meeting with Kim.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Tuesday that Trump was disappointed not to have been able to make the trip to the demilitarized zone.

"He's actually pretty frustrated," she said, adding the White House had been planning the visit “for a little while” since before Trump left on his Asia trip, adding that it was "something the president wanted to do."

The stop has become a ritual for presidents looking to show U.S. resolve against North Korea’s increasing aggression.

Nearly every commander-in-chief since Ronald Reagan has visited the area accompanied by an American entourage and peered across the border with binoculars into the North.

Trump on multiple occasions appeared to hint that a visit was possible, including during his toast Tuesday night at a state dinner with his South Korean counterpart.

More Arutz Sheva videos: