Making history at the inter-Korean border Friday, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un not only met South Korean Moon Jae-in face-to-face for the first time, but he also became the first North Korean leader to visit the South since the end of the Korean War.
In a surreal moment for Korea watchers, Kim stepped across the military demarcation line into South Korea and shook his southern counterpart’s hand — something that would have been almost unthinkable just a few months ago. At what appears to be Kim’s invitation, Moon stepped onto the North Korean side of the line, and then the two walked hand-in-hand onto South Korean soil.
North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un crosses inter-Korean border to begin summit meeting with South Korean President Moon. It is the first time a member of the Kim dynasty has set foot on southern soil since the end of the Korean War in 1953. pic.twitter.com/yhPvwzuNPZ
— NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt (@NBCNightlyNews) April 27, 2018
After reviewing an honor guard, the two Korean leaders entered the Peace House at Panmunjom — a section of the Joint Security Area where the Kim and Moon will meet for what many hope will be meaningful talks. Upon entering the Peace House, Kim signed the guest book.
“New history starts now; age of peace, from the starting point of history,” Kim wrote.
Kim and Moon are expected to discuss the denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula and permanent peace (an end to the Korean War). This meeting marks the third inter-Korean summit but the first since Kim took power after the death of his father a little over six years ago. This is the first such summit in over a decade.
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