Kim crosses border, makes history in meeting with Moon
Published: 10:46 AM, 27 April 2018
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in shook hands
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made history on Friday by crossing over the world`s most heavily armed border to greet his rival, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, for talks on North Korea`s nuclear weapons.
It was the first time a member of the Kim dynasty has set foot on South Korean soil since the end of the Korean War in 1953 and the latest bid to settle the world`s last Cold War standoff.
The two men shook hands and smiled for news cameras. Moon called for more meetings between the leaders and said he wishes to travel to North Korea to visit Mount Paektu near the country`s border with China.
Kim told Moon he "won`t interrupt your early morning sleep anymore," referring to missile tests, South Korea said.
The meeting comes weeks before Kim plans to sit down with US President Donald Trump. The rogue nation`s nuclear capabilities are expected to be a major topic of discussion during the summit with the US leader.
The historic meeting of the two Korean leaders was scheduled down to the last detail. Thousands of journalists were kept in a huge conference centre well away from the summit, except for a small group of tightly-controlled pool reporters at the border.
"I feel like I`m firing a flare at the starting line in the moment of (the two Koreas) writing a new history in North-South relations, peace and prosperity," Kim said.
Moon responded that there were high expectations that they create an agreement that will be a "big gift to the entire Korean nation and every peace-loving person in the world."
Upon their initial meeting, Moon and Kim shook hands with the borderline between them. Moon then invited Kim to cross into the South, and, after he did so, Kim grasped Moon`s hand and led him into the North and then back into the South. They took a ceremonial photo facing the North and then another photo facing the South.
Moon and Kim were set to plant a pine tree together on the borderline, using dirt from both the North and South`s mountains and rivers, before beginning formal talks.
They also were expected to discuss ways to both improve relations and settle the 1950-53 Korean War, which was halted with an armistice, not a peace treaty.
Kim said he was ready for "heartfelt, sincere and honest" discussions with Moon, adding the Koreas shouldn`t repeat past situations where they were "unable to fulfil our agreements."
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