Kim Jong Un Steps Into South Korea for Historic Peace Summit

Kim Jong Un Steps Into South Korea for Historic Peace Summit”

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un crossed the border into South Korea on Friday to meet President Moon Jae-in for an historic summit.

Earlier Friday, in the most detailed reference by the North yet to the flurry of nuclear diplomacy, the state-run Korean Central News Agency said Kim will "open-heartedly discuss ... all the issues arising in improving inter-Korean relations and achieving peace, prosperity and reunification of the Korean peninsula".

Friday's meeting came after tensions soared a year ago as the North made rapid progress on its banned nuclear weapons programmes, while Trump engaged in an increasingly bellicose verbal scrap with Pyongyang's leader.

With this, Kim will become the first Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) leader to cross the border onto the South Korean soil since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

South Korea President Moon Jae-in meets with North Koreas Leader Kim Jon Un.

The two leaders appeared at ease, smiling and talking, and on entering the Peace House Kim signed a guest book.

With North Korea's nuclear weapons program having reached what American policymakers describe as a critical stage, expectations are high that the two leaders will lay the foundation for reduced tensions between Pyongyang and Washington.

He did not specify the names of companies, but those that have affiliates and subsidiaries in construction, telecommunications and transportation sectors, such as SK Group, Hyundai Group and Samsung Group, are said to be actively seeking investment opportunities that could come on the heels of the latest summit meetings.

Two fifth-grade students from the Daesongdong Elementary School, the only South Korean school within the DMZ, greeted the leaders and gave the Kim flowers. In the longer term, he notes that North Korea potentially offers "trillions of dollars in untapped underground mineral resources and a massive labor force", so South Korean businessmen will be interested in developing opportunities there.

"We are hopeful that talks will achieve progress to were a future of peace and prosperity for the entire Korean Peninsula", it reads. "Today, rather than create results we won't be able to carry out like in the past, we should make good results by talking frankly about current issues, issues of interest", Kim said.

Moon, a liberal whose election past year ended a decade of conservative rule in Seoul, will be looking to make some headway on the North's nuclear program in advance of a planned summit in several weeks between Kim and U.S. President Donald Trump. Who is the most legitimate ruler of the Korean peninsula? Trump has tightened economic sanctions against Kim's regime and warned of military action if he continues to threaten the U.S. The two North Koreans include Kim Jong-un's sister Kim Yo-jong, who visited South Korea to attend the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, and Vice Chairman of the Workers' Party of Korea Kim Yong-chol.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has offered his deep apologies to China after a bus crash in his isolated country killed 32 Chinese tourists, state media said on Thursday.

As a precursor to the summit, Kim promised last week to extend his freeze on missile and atomic tests, as well as dismantle a key nuclear facility.

The distance between Moon and Kim's seats at the table has been measured down to a fraction of an inch.

According to Dr Leonid Petrov, a leading expert on North Korea, Kim and Moon may have completely different political motives and goals but their intentions coincided this year.

The North's founder Kim Il Sung died in 1994, but under his son Kim Jong Il it continued to prod its southern neighbour.

In an initial meeting open to the press during Friday's inter-Korean summit, Kim said he didn't want a repeat of the past "where we were unable to fulfill our agreements".

An honour guard standing at attention for the two leaders. Prior efforts involving Kim's late father when he was leader collapsed in acrimony, with North Korea blaming the United States for failure to adhere to the agreements.

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