North Korean leader Kim Jong-un meets South Korea’s Moon Jae-in in DMZ for historic peace talks
A Historic Walk after 65 years
Kim Jong-un has become the first North Korean leader to cross into the South since the end of the Korean War in 1953 for a historic summit with his southern counterpart.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in personally greeted Mr Kim with a handshake at the border truce village of Panmunjom in the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between the countries.
The leaders posed for a photo together before crossing the demarcation line hand in hand, kicking off the first leadership summit between the divided countries in more than a decade.
The meeting, aimed at ending their decades-long conflict and easing tensions over the North’s nuclear weapons program, comes weeks before Mr Kim is due to meet US President Donald Trump.
South Korean President Moon greeted Kim Jong-un at the military demarcation line at 9:30 am (local time).
Official talks are expected to start at 10:30 am at the Peace House, which has been recently updated for the summit.
Kim is accompanied by nine officials, including his sister Kim Yo-jong, who led the North’s delegations to the Winter Olympic Games in South Korea earlier this year.
The South’s delegation includes president Moon’s ministers for foreign affairs, defence and unification.
Kim invited Moon to step briefly across the demarcation line into North Korea before the two leaders crossed back into South Korea holding hands.
The two were handed flowers by a South Korean boy and girl from a village in the demilitarised zone.
Walking on a red carpet rolled out for the two heads of state, the pair were met by a South Korean honour guard in historical costumes and playing traditional music.
A special dress code for a special occasion?
Kim wore glasses and his trademark black Mao suit, while the rest of the North Korean delegation appeared in military uniforms or Western attire.
He stopped to sign a guest book in the South’s Peace House before the two leaders met for a private discussion.
“A new history starts now. An age of peace, from the starting point of history,” Kim wrote in Korean in the book, dating and signing the entry.
Kim and the U.S president Trump are expected to meet in late May or June, with Trump saying on Thursday he was considering several possible dates and venues.
Just months ago, Trump and Kim were trading threats and insults as North Korea’s rapid advances in pursuit of nuclear-armed missiles capable of hitting the United States raised fears of a fresh conflict on the Korean peninsula.
Source: ABC, Korean Times Kayra Watson The Kootneeti Indo-Pacific Team
The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Kootneeti Team