Photograph by Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images.
President Obama will visit the demilitarized zone between North and South Korea for the first time this weekend.
BBC reports that the president will make a trip to the zone that splits the Korean Peninsula in two on Sunday, during a three-day trip to South Korea for an international summit on nuclear security. The visit is widely seen as a gesture of support for South Korea, as well as the 28,500 American troops stationed in the DMZ.
Obama’s trip comes a week after North Korea announced plans to use a long-range rocket to put a satellite in orbit, a move that South Korea and many in the West worry is part of a weapons program. The United States has warned North Korea that if it goes forward with the plan, it could derail a food-agreement made between the two countries last month.
CNN reminds us that the visit also comes two years after the sinking of a South Korean warship, largely believed to be the work of a North Korean torpedo attack.
While Obama did not visit the DMZ during his past two trips to South Korea, though Secretary of State Hillary Clinton paid a visit to the area in 2010.