WASHINGTON (WASHINGTON POST) - It has become the ultimate symbol of American resolve against the threat of North Korea: a visit by the US commander in chief to "freedom's frontier", the heavily guarded demilitarised zone (DMZ) that has separated the North and South for 64 years.
Wearing bomber-style jackets, surrounded by military officers, peering through binoculars, all but one president since Mr Ronald Reagan has gazed across the barren strip of land at the 38th parallel from an observation post - and been moved to talk tough.
In April, Vice-President Mike Pence, undertaking the same solemn ritual, said he toured the DMZ so the North Koreans could "see our resolve in my face".
But as President Donald Trump prepares for a 12-day swing next month (November) through five Asian nations to bolster international pressure on Pyongyang, the administration is divided over whether he should make the pilgrimage, an issue that remains unresolved.
Some aides worry that a visit could further inflame already heightened tensions on the Korean Peninsula, while others have expressed concern over Mr Trump's personal safety, according to people who have spoken to administration officials.
Asian foreign policy veterans of both the Barack Obama and George W. Bush administrations said it would be foolish for Mr Trump not to go.