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Donald Trump Becomes First Sitting U.S. President To Enter North Korea

President Donald Trump shook hands with North Korea's Kim Jong-un across the border at the Korean Demilitarized Zone.

The historic moment came as Trump seeks to make a legacy-defining nuclear deal with the North.

It is the third time the two leaders have met, and the first since a failed summit on the North's nuclear program in Vietnam earlier this year. Trump briefly crossed the border into North Korea after greeting Kim.

President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un at the DMZ. Photo: AAP

Prior to meeting Kim, Trump met with several dozen troops stationed at the Korean DMZ separating South and North Korea and telling them, "We're with you all the way."

Peering into North Korea from Observation Post Ouellette before the meeting with Kim, Trump was briefed on the North's extensive artillery across the border that threatens the 35 million residents of Seoul, just over two dozen miles away.

"All accessible by what they have in the mountains," Trump said.

Trump claimed to reporters that, after his first meeting with Kim, "all of the danger went away". He was accompanied on the visit by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

President Donald Trump and North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un at the DMZ. Photo: AAP

The president departed Seoul aboard the Marine One presidential helicopter shortly after Moon announced the visit on Sunday.

Trump told reporters before departing that he looked forward to seeing Kim and to "shake hands quickly and say hello".

The meeting between Trump and Kim marks yet another historic first in the yearlong rapprochement between the US and North Korea, which technically are still at war.

It also would mark the return of face-to-face contact between the leaders since negotiations to end the North's nuclear program broke down during a summit in Vietnam in February.

Moon praised the two leaders for "being so brave" to hold the meeting and said, "I hope President Trump will go down in history as the president who achieves peace on Korean Peninsula."

outh Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and US President Donald Trump (2-R) look over North Korea from the Observation Post Ouellette along the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) near Paju, South Korea. Photo: AAP

Trump told reporters at a news conference with South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he and Kim will "just shake hands quickly and say hello" at the historic meeting at the Korean border village.

Trump on Saturday invited Kim to meet him at the border for a symbolic handshake. He expressed openness to briefly crossing into North Korean territory if Kim accepted.

Every president since Ronald Reagan has visited the 1953 armistice line, except for George H.W. Bush, who visited as vice president.

Previous and incumbent US presidents (from L to R) -- Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Donald J. Trump looking at North Korea from an observation post in the Demilitarized Zone . Photo: AAP

The meeting is set to mark yet another historic first in the yearlong rapprochement between the two technically warring nations.

It also marks the return of face-to-face contact between the leaders since negotiations to end the North's nuclear program broke down during a summit in Vietnam in February.

Moon praised the two leaders for "being so brave" to hold the meeting and said, "I hope President Trump will go down in history as the president who achieves peace on Korean Peninsula."

Trump sought to tamp down expectations by saying the meeting would be "very short."

"Virtually a handshake, but that's OK. A handshake means a lot," he said.

President Donald Trump meets with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un at the border. Photo: AAP

Officials spent Sunday morning working out logistical and security details, Trump said during an earlier appearance with Moon.

The invitation, while long rumoured in diplomatic circles, still came across as an impulsive display of showmanship by a president bent on obtaining a legacy-defining nuclear deal. North Korea had responded by calling the offer a "very interesting suggestion".

Presidential visits to the DMZ are traditionally carefully guarded secrets for security reasons.

"All I did is put out a feeler, if you'd like to meet," Trump said in Japan. He added, somewhat implausibly: "I just thought of it this morning."