27 April 2018Hot off the Press
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has been received by South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
The two leaders posed for photographs before holding hands and crossing the demarcation line together, marking a historic moment for the two countries.
Mr Kim and President Moon then headed to inspect the Guard of Honour in the welcoming ceremony and greeted dignitaries from both North and South Korea.
Mr Kim signed the Panmunjom peace house guest book and then followed Mr Moon into the conference room, where there is a video feed and photographers.
The leaders started the talks by expressing a clear willingness to work together, with Mr Kim saying he would like to “write a new chapter” in inter-Korean relations.
The expectations are high and we have learned a lesson from previous times and even if we have good agreements and implementations don’t follow they will disappoint people who had high expectations. I hope the 11 years have lost in the past until this time don’t go to waste, and we can meet more often and put our minds together and the 11 years will not be wasted. I hope to write a new chapter between us. I believe that we are able to make a new beginning, and it is with such commitment I come to this meeting.
Spring (is) spreading in South Korea. I believe our encounter is extremely important for all of us. That of course means there is a huge burden on our shoulders Comrade Kim, for the first time in our history you crossed the military demarcation line. It is no longer a symbol of division but a symbol of peace. I would like to pay tribute to the courageous and bold decision made by you, Chairman Kim.
Kim Jong-un is the first North Korean leader to enter South Korea since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
The focus of the talks is expected to be on the North’s indication it will abandon its nuclear weapons programme.
North Korea’s offical news agency, KCNA, said the meeting will address “issues arising in improving inter-Korean relations and achieving peace, prosperity and reunification of the Korean Peninsula.”
The summit is a welcome change from the war of words between the Mr Kim and US President Donald Trump and the consequential surge in tensions on the Korean Peninsula in 2017.