North Korea's Kim Jong-un CROSSES BORDER into the South and vows to stop ‘interrupting President Moon Jae-in’s sleep’ with missiles
The dictator said his heart was "throbbing" as he became the first North Korean leader to cross the 38th parallel since the Korean War ended 65 years ago.
The two heads of state had "serious, frank" discussions on the topic of denuclearising the peninsula during the first meeting on southern soil in more than six decades.
Kim even quipped about his missile tests saying he wouldn't disturb the South's "early morning sleep anymore".
Both parties are drawing up a joint statement due to be announced together at the close of the discussions which will be followed by a dinner, which would also be attended by Kim's wife.
What's happened so far:
- Kim Jong-un met with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the southern side of the demilitarised zone in the border truce village of Panmunjom
- He made history as the first North Korean leader to cross into the South since the Korean War ended in 1953
- The leaders displayed signs of unity and peace as they shook hands on both sides of the border line
- Kim signed a guest book at the Peace House, in which he wrote: "A new history begins now"
- Referring to missile tests, Kim joked "[we] won't interrupt your early morning sleep anymore"
- Kim offered to visit South Korean presidential mansion after Moon suggested more summits
- The pair have planted a commemorative pine tree from 1953 – the year the Korean War armistice was signed – at the border truce village.
When they met the smiling leaders, who seemed on the brink of war months ago, shook hands as each stood either side of the military demarcation line that bisects the rivals.
As the sworn enemies came face-to-face for the first time in the border truce village of Panmunjom, Moon thanked him for making a "very courageous decision" to come to the South.
In an unplanned move, the dictator then invited Moon to cross briefly north with him before they returned to the southern side – an incredible symbol of peace and unity between the warring nations.
Moon then took Kim's hand in his and led him along a red carpet into South Korean territory, where they were handed flowers by a boy and girl who live in the village.
The pictures of them smiling and holding hands struck a stark contrast to the posturing and aggression of past decades.
The two heads of state were then met by a South Korean honour guard in historical costumes, who performed an arirang – a traditional Korean folk song.
Kim wore glasses and his trademark black Mao suit, while the rest of the North Korean delegation appeared in military uniforms or Western attire.
He stopped to write in a guest book in the South's Peace House before the two leaders met for a private discussion – aimed at ending their decades-long conflict.
Signing and dating the entry, he said: "A new history starts now. An age of peace, from the starting point of history."
KOREA MOVE – What was said in Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in's historic first conversation
Kim: I'm glad to meet you. I'm so glad.
Moon: Was there any difficulty coming here?
Kim: Not at all.
Moon: It's a pleasure to meet you.
Kim: Indeed, I'm so filled with excitement because of the meeting at this historic site. And I was truly moved that you have come all the way to receive me at the Military Demarcation Line at Panmunjom.
Moon: It was your bold and courageous decision that has allowed us to come this far.
Kim: No, no, not at all.
Moon: We have made a historic moment.
Kim: I am pleased to meet you.
Moon: Would you please stand on this side.
Kim steps across the Southern border
Moon: You have come to the south side, when will I be able to come to the North?
Kim: Maybe this is the right time for you to enter the North Korean territory.
Moon steps into the North before both re-enter South Korea
The summit is the first between the two countries in over a decade and only third-ever between the sworn enemies – who are separated by a conflict that ended with a truce, not a treaty, meaning they are still technically at war.
Minutes before Kim entered Peace House, a North Korean security team conducted a sweep for explosives and listening devices, and sprayed apparent disinfectant in the air, on the chairs, and on the guest book.
During the discussion, Jong-un told his southern rival he was ready for "heartfelt, sincere and honest" talks, adding that he doesn't want repeat of past "where we were unable to fulfill our agreements".
'We should meet more often': What was said between Kim and Moon
Kim Jong-un told South Korean President Moon Jae-in the pair should meet more often during the first summit between the warring nations in more than a decared.
As the talks began on Friday, the North Korean leader said: “As I walked over here, I thought, why was it so difficult to get here?
“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.”
According to the official translation provided by the South Korean government, Jong-un also said during opening remarks, with the media present in the room:
"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."
Moon is reported to have said in opening remarks:
"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."
In parts shown on live TV, Kim joked that he hoped Moon would be able to enjoy North Korea's famous cold noodles, which were being brought to a banquet after the summit.
But he could be heard turning to his sister – who was sitting to his left – and saying "maybe I shouldn't have said (Pyongyang) was far."
His younger sister Kim Yo Jong was the first member of the ruling North Korean family to travel to the South in early February for the Olympics.
KOREA ADVICE – How has the world reacted to the historic summit?
Boris Johnson is welcomed the summit between the two Koreas but says he doesn't expect any great breakthrough that might curb North Korea's nuclear ambitions.
The Foreign Secretary told reporters at NATO headquarters Friday, "I am very encouraged by what's happening.
"I don't think that anybody looking at the history of North Korea's plans to develop a nuclear weapon would want to be over-optimistic at this point.
“But it is clearly good news that the two leaders are meeting. Absolutely."
The White House said in a statement that it is "hopeful that talks will achieve progress toward a future of peace and prosperity for the entire Korean Peninsula. … (and) looks forward to continuing robust discussions in preparation for the planned meeting between President Donald J. Trump and Kim Jong Un in the coming weeks."
A Japanese Cabinet official says his government and the families of Japanese citizens abducted by North Korea in the 1980s and 1990s are closely watching the inter-Korean summit in hopes the two leaders discuss the issue.
Katsunobu Kato, Japan's minister for the abduction issue, says he hopes progress will be made at an upcoming summit that Kim is expected to hold with President Donald Trump.
The only other North Korean official present was former intelligence chief Kim Yong Chol, the top official in charge of relations with the South.
Moon in response said there were high expectations surrounding the summit and hoped they produce an agreement that would please the people of Koreas and also "every peace-loving person in the world."
The discussions also touched on the South Korean island of Yeonpyeong which was targeted by a North Korean artillery attack in 2010, killing four, according to Moon Jae-in's senior spokesman
Moon told Kim he wished to travel in North Korea to visit Mount Paektu, near the country's border with China, but Kim said under current conditions it would be "uncomfortable" due to the transport network.
The pair then discussed high-speed train services, with Kim informing his rival his delegates had been impressed by the South's bullet trains during their visit for the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in February.
A delighted Moon suggested the possibility of connecting the rail networks across borders if relations improve.
The discussion went so well that by the time the pair broke for lunch, they had agreed to hold more meetings – with Kim offering to visit Seoul's presidential Blue House.
In a further show of peace, pine is said to symbolise strength and mindfulness in the Korean martial art of Tae Kwon Do as it grows strong roots below ground and a high above it.
The United States is hopeful talks between Kim and Moon will make progress on achieving peace and prosperity, the White House said in a statement as the two men began their summit.
The White House also said it looks forward to continuing discussions with South Korea in preparation for the planned meeting of Trump and Kim in the coming weeks.
Just months ago, Trump and Kim were trading threats and insults as North Korea's rapid advances in pursuit of nuclear-armed missiles capable of hitting the United States raised fears of a fresh conflict on the Korean peninsula.
Earlier on Friday, North Korea's official KCNA news agency said Kim would "open-heartedly discuss with Moon Jae-in all the issues arising in improving inter-Korean relations and achieving peace, prosperity and reunification of the Korean peninsula."
Just days before the summit, Kim said North Korea would suspend nuclear and long-range missile tests and dismantle its only known nuclear test site.
Moon travelled to the meeting in a large motorcade, stopping briefly to greet dozens of summit supporters waving South Korean flags near the Blue House.
Hundreds of demonstrators were seen gathering in downtown Seoul from early morning to protest or support the summit.
Scepticism has been rampant about whether Kim is ready to abandon the hard-earned nuclear arsenal his country has defended and developed for decades as what it says is a necessary deterrent against US invasion.
The two neighbours expect to release a joint statement late on Friday – possibly called the Panmunjom Declaration – that could address denuclearisation and peace, and an improvement in relations, South Korean officials said.
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