U.S. President Donald Trump visited a major American military base in South Korea on Tuesday, the first official activity of his two-day state visit here.
Shortly after flying into the country from Japan on Air Force One, Trump moved to Camp Humphreys, the new home of the U.S. Eighth Army, in Pyeongtaek, Gyeonggi Province, on the Marine One chopper.
He was later greeted by President Moon Jae-in at the base, 70 kilometers south of Seoul. They had lunch with South Korean and U.S. troops at a mess hall there.
"Hello everybody! Good food. Thank you all," Trump said amid applause from the soldiers, according to a pool report.
Trump and Moon were then briefed on North Korea at the Eighth Army's headquarters before having summit talks in Seoul later in the day.
In his brief remarks open to the media at the outset of the session, Trump mentioned his lunch with the troops.
"I had the choice of having a beautiful, very fancy lunch, and I said, 'No, I want to eat with the troops.' And we ate with the troops, it was good eating. And I tell you, they've done a terrific job, very impressive," he said.
He added trade will be discussed during his trip to Seoul and Beijing this week.
On North Korea, he said, "Ultimately, it will all work out, because it always works out, it has to work out."
Trump became the first U.S. president to travel to Camp Humphreys, known as the largest U.S. military installation abroad. It has emerged as a new symbol of the alliance.
The expansion and renovation of the USFK facilities began in 2007 and work is almost completed.
South Korea paid more than 90 percent of the cost of the project, which totals US$10.7 billion.
The Eighth Army recently relocated from Yongsan Garrison in Seoul to the compound, which occupies 14.6 million square meters and consists of 513 buildings.
Currently, it accommodates around 26,000 U.S. service members, their families and civilians, along with some South Korean soldiers. The number is expected to grow up to 42,000 in the coming years.