North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has crossed the line dividing the demilitarized zone to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in what’s being described as a historic summit.
Kim made that first step, a great leap for the Korean Peninsula. The two posed for photos facing the North, then facing the South. Just about when Moon ushered Kim to walk toward the red carpet, Kim made a gesture offering Moon to take a step back across the demarcation line, to his side of the border. Whether pre-planned or not, the two smiled and took that step holding hands.
Escorted by traditional music, Moon and Kim walked together to the “Peace House,” a three-story building where the official summit will take place.
Inside the “Peace House,” Kim signed the guest book, writing in it for more than a minute. The two leaders then went into a reception room for a private conversation.
It’s the first time since 2007 leaders of the two countries have met and is part of a recent thawing of relations as South Korea and the United States have focused on diplomacy in their efforts to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear program.
The summit has been in the works for some time, with the stage being set by two previous meetings between high-level officials from the North and South, as well as the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, earlier this year. The two nations marched under one flag.