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DPRK leader Kim cross inter-Korean line, holds talks with Moon in historic summit

People's Daily Online

(Xinhua) 14:18, April 27, 2018

GOYANG, South Korea, April 27 (Xinhua) -- Top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un crossed the inter-Korean border Friday and met with his South Korean counterpart Moon Jae-in in the heavily armed demilitarized zone of Panmunjom, setting a starting point of peace for the decades-long conflicts on the Peninsula.

Smiling and shaking hands for a long time with each other, leaders of the two neighbors stood on the two sides of the military demarcation line (DML), marked only by a low cement slab on an aisle between blue pavilions sitting in the middle of the truce village that divides the two Koreas.

After walking across the MDL into the South Korean side, Kim, the first DPRK leader that set foot on the South Korea's territory since the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War, invited Moon to briefly cross the border into the DPRK side.

They then returned back to the South Korean side of Panmunjom together, grasping hands with each other, marking a historic moment for the first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade.

It indicated a good start of the historic summit between Kim and Moon, who came into office fewer than a year. They took ceremonial photos facing the DPRK side and then the South Korean side.

Broadly smiling Moon and Kim were escorted by a traditional South Korean honor guard to the Panmunjom square lying between the buildings of the Freedom House and the Peace House, a venue for the Moon-Kim summit, the third-ever between the divided Koreas, following the first and second ones in 2000 and 2007, respectively.

Moon and Kim inspected a honor guard, composed of about 300 service members of the South Korean army, navy and air force as part of an official welcoming ceremony.

The South Korean president introduced Kim to his seven-member senior entourage, including presidential chief of staff Im Jong-seok and Suh Hoon, chief of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), who attended a closed-door talks between the two leaders at the Peace House.

For Kim, his nine-member entourage included Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of the DPRK leader and the first vice department director of the Central Committee of the ruling Worker's Party of Korea (WPK), and Kim Yong Chol, vice chairman of the WPK Central Committee.

After the welcoming ceremony, Moon led Kim along a red carpet into the Peace House, where Kim wrote a message in the guestbook and took a commemorative photo with Moon on the first floor.

"A new history begins now," he wrote, "an age of peace from the starting point of history," according to the inter-Korean summit joint press corps.

In his introductory remarks for the morning talks, Kim told Moon that at the starting line, it was time to "write a new history" in the DPRK-South Korea relations and peace and prosperity.

The DPRK leader vowed to produce a good outcome by sincerely and frankly talking with Moon, suggesting not making proposals which the two sides will not be able to enforce.

In response, Moon suggested Kim reaching an agreement through broad-minded talks that can be a big gift to people of the Koreas and the peace-loving people around the world.

Moon praised Kim for his decision to cross the border into the South Korean side, saying Panmunjom changed into a symbol of peace from the symbol of division at the moment Kim walked over the MDL for the first time.

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