U.S. Secret Service

Trump and the DMZ: The surprise that wasn't to be

It was the big surprise that was not to be.

Donald Trump, America's showman president, hatched a secret plan to visit the Korean Peninsula's demilitarized zone before he ever left Washington last week on a five-nation tour of Asia, the White House said.

Trump teased a show-stopper during a toast at a state dinner being held in his honor in Seoul on Tuesday night, promising: "We're going to have an exciting day tomorrow for many reasons" that "people will find out."

With reporters sworn to secrecy and a beefed-up security retinue in tow, his helicopter took off in the dim early morning light Wednesday bound for the heavily fortified border.