U.S. President Donald Trump's attempt to make an unannounced visit to the heavily fortified border separating North and South Korea was aborted on Wednesday after dense fog prevented his helicopter from landing, officials said.
Trump tried to travel to the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) — the doorstep of the North Korean nuclear standoff — as he prepared to wrap up a 24-hour visit to ally Seoul with a major speech to lawmakers on the North Korean threat.
However, Trump and his entourage had to turn back when the weather made it impossible for his helicopter to land in the border area, the White House said.
Trump was disappointed he was unable to visit the DMZ, which was planned secretly to show the strength of the U.S.-South Korean alliance, said White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in was also forced to abandon his effort to accompany Trump to the site, where visits by American leaders are often seen by North Korea as provocations.
"The fact that they were still planning for it showed the strength of the alliance," Sanders said.
She later said of Trump: "He's actually pretty frustrated."
A visit to the DMZ, despite his aides' earlier insistence he had no plans to go there, would have had the potential to further inflame tensions with North Korea.