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    South Korea's Moon greeted Kim at the military demarcation line, making Kim the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the 1950-53 Korean War. | Photo: Reuters

Published 26 April 2018

The two smiled as they shook hands, first on the southern side of the demarcation line, and then on the northern side.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un has crossed the border to meet with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in to hold the first intra-Korea summit in over a decade.

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South Korea's Moon greeted Kim at the military demarcation line at 9:30 a.m. local time, making Kim the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The two smiled as they shook hands, first on the southern side of the demarcation line, and then on the northern side. Kim left a message in a guestbook before the two continued on to hold talks.

The leaders were escorted by South Korean honor guards to an official welcoming ceremony before beginning official dialogue at 10:30 a.m. local time at Peace House, a South Korean building inside the border truce village of Panmunjom.

North Korea's official KCNA news agency said Kim had left Pyongyang for the "historical" summit in which he would "open-heartedly discuss with Moon Jae-in all the issues arising in improving inter-Korean relations and achieving peace, prosperity and reunification of the Korean peninsula."

A pine tree will be planted on the demarcation line to symbolize 'peace and prosperity,' using soil from Mount Paektu in North Korea and Mount Halla in South Korea. Kim and Moon will water the tree with water from the Taedong River in the North and the Han River in the South. Afterwards, Moon and Kim will take a walk together in Panmunjom before beginning the next round of talks.

At the end of the talks, Kim and Moon will sign a pact and make an announcement. Later, they will have dinner on the South's side and watch a video clip themed 'Spring of One.'

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Last week, Kim announced that North Korea was suspending nuclear and long-range missile tests, and would be embarking on a path toward peaceful socialist economic development, and the fostering of positive international relations.

Kim emphasized that his country would never use nuclear weapons unless it was threatened.

The talks represent the latest advance toward the historic peace moves that have defined 2018 on the peninsula following a volatile 2017.

Earlier this month, Kim held a meeting with Mike Pompeo – now U.S. secretary of state – in Pyongyang, and is planning on holding a summit with U.S. President Donald Trump.


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