Seoul (April 27, 2018): Kim Jong-un has become the first North Korean leader to set foot in South Korea by crossing the military line that has divided the peninsula since the end of the Korean War in 1953.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in welcomed Kim Jong-un at the border at 09:30 (00:30 GMT) before talks begin.Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in first shook hands as each stood on either side of the military demarcation line that divides the two. In a symbolic move, Moon then joined Kim on the northern side of the line before both leaders stepped over to the southern side. They then took in a performance of arirang, a traditional Korean folk song known in the North and the South.Kim Jong Un inspected the guard of honour at his arrival in South Korea. Delegations from both countries hold talks at Peace House, located in what’s known as Truce Village, the Joint Security Area (JSA).After entering the Peace House for the inter-Korean summit, Kim Jong Un wrote in the guest book “a new history begins now” and “an age of peace, at the starting point of history.”
While delivering his opening remarks, Kim Jong Un said, “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.”South Korean President Moon Jae-in said, “Spring 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 kicked off this morning’s meeting with Moon Jae-in by telling him they should meet more often. “As I walked over here, I thought, why was it so difficult to get here?” Kim told Moon and the South Korean delegation as they began talks.
“The separating line wasn’t even that high to cross. It was too easy to walk over that line and it took us 11 years to get here.”