Report: White House weighs sending Trump to DMZ on N. Korean border

As President Trump prepares for a 12-day tour of Asia, bringing him closer than he's ever been to facing the North Korean dictator he refers to as "rocket man", the administration is now divided over whether Mr. Trump should make the traditional tour to the DMZ, or demilitarized zone, as tense relations persist between the U.S. and the regime, according to the Washington Post. 

The Post reports, citing people who have spoke to administration officials, that some aides worry the visit would add more fuel to the already fiery relationship between the two countries, while others have expressed concern over Mr. Trump's overall safety during the trip.

The DMZ, the Reuters news agency notes, is "a heavily mined, 2.5-mile-wide strip of land lined with barbed wire running across the Korean peninsula, with soldiers on both sides in a continual eyeball-to-eyeball standoff."

Mr. Trump was asked directly about the possibility of touring the DMZ at Monday's Rose Garden press conference alongside Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, saying that he was "taking a look" at going to the DMZ, but that the South Korea trip was still being planned.

While all but one president since Ronald Reagan has visited the area as an act of American strength and defiance in the face of the oftentimes hostile Korean regime, Mr. Trump's visit could serve as a next step in pursuing diplomatic measures in the conflict. 

Vice President Mike Pence said he went himself back in April so the North Koreans could "see our resolve in my face." It was there that Pence said that "the era of strategic patience is over" with the regime. 

Despite Mr. Trump's uncertainty about some of his stops during the visit, including a series of meetings in the Philippines where he is expected to speak with controversial leader President Rodrigo Duterte, the White House has released a somewhat detailed itinerary charting his November excursions.

Mr. Trump will also travel to Hawaii, Japan, South Korea, China, and Vietnam from Nov. 3 to Nov. 14. 

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital