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Kim Jong Un makes history, crosses border to greet rival S Korea Prez Moon


Kim Jong Un makes history, crosses border to greet rival S Korea Prez Moon
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in cross the military demarcation line to the South side at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone Friday. (Photo: AP)

Seoul: With a single step over a weathered, cracked slab of concrete, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made history on Friday by crossing over the world’s most heavily armed border to greet his rival, South Korean President Moon Jae-in, for talks on North Korea’s nuclear weapons. Kim then invited Moon to cross briefly north with him before they returned to the southern side.

Smiling and holding hands, both leaders met at the heavily fortified demilitarised zone between the countries.

The meeting, aimed at ending their decades-long conflict and easing tensions over the North’s nuclear weapons programme, comes weeks before Kim is due to meet US President Donald Trump.

Moon greeted Kim at the military demarcation line at 9:30 am (0030 GMT), making Kim the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The two were handed flowers by a South Korean boy and girl, residents of a village situated in the demilitarised zone.

Walking on a red carpet rolled out for the two heads of state, the pair were met by a South Korean honour guard in historical costumes and playing traditional music.

The two are expected to talk denuclearisation and exchanges between the Koreas and also will plant a memorial tree at the border truce village of Panmunjom.

Kim and Trump are expected to meet in late May or June, with Trump saying on Thursday he was considering several possible dates and venues.

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.

The meeting, aimed at ending their decades-long conflict and easing tensions over the North’s nuclear weapons programme, comes weeks before Kim is due to meet US President Donald Trump.

Moon greeted Kim at the military demarcation line at 9:30 am (0030 GMT), making Kim the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The two were handed flowers by a South Korean boy and girl, residents of a village situated in the demilitarised zone.

Walking on a red carpet rolled out for the two heads of state, the pair were met by a South Korean honour guard in historical costumes and playing traditional music.

The two are expected to talk denuclearisation and exchanges between the Koreas and also will plant a memorial tree at the border truce village of Panmunjom.

Kim and Trump are expected to meet in late May or June, with Trump saying on Thursday he was considering several possible dates and venues.

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.

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