Korea summit in photos: Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in all smiles at landmark talks
Kim wonders ‘why it took so long’ to cross border as leaders vow to bring official end to Korean War
North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in laughed and shook hands at a landmark summit on Friday which ended with both nations pledging to bring an official end to the Korean War after more than 60 years.
The first inter-Korean talks since 2007 took place at Peace House, on the southern side of the “truce” village Panmunjom, in the heavily fortified demilitarised zone separating the two Koreas.
Kim struck a conciliatory tone as he stepped over the border this morning, sharing an unscripted joke and shaking hands with Moon, who was waiting there to greet him.
“You have come to the South, when will I be able to come to the North?” Moon joked.
Kim replied: “Maybe now is the right time for you to enter North Korean territory?”
“South Korean journalists gasped and applauded” as the two men then held hands and briefly stepped over the demarcation line into North Korean territory, The Daily Telegraph reports.
Later, Kim remarked that stepping over the border was “so easy” and that he wondered “why it took so long to do so after 11 years”.
Following the first stage of the day’s talks, the two leaders sealed their newfound friendship with a tree-planting ceremony, using “soil from Mount Halla in the South and Mount Baekdu in the North, and water from the South’s Han River and the North’s Daedong River”, The Straits Times reports.
After more than 60 years of tensions that have at times brought the two Koreas to the brink of another war, the talks are naturally delicate and today’s agreement will be fragile; but make no mistake, says the BBC’s Virginia Harrison: “It's a big deal.”