For the first time in over a decade, the leaders of a divided Korea will sit down Friday to negotiate an end to a decades-long rivalry which has threatened at times to plunge the world into nuclear war.
In a meeting heavy with history and symbolism, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will hold talks with South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the Peace House on the southern side of the demilitarized zone that divides the two countries.
Three potentially world-changing topics are on the agenda for the meeting — denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, a peace settlement and the improvement of inter-Korea relations.
The summit is the result of months of diplomatic wrangling and negotiating on the part of Moon, a longtime advocate of peace between the Koreas. It will also set the stage for the first meeting between a sitting US president and North Korean leader when Donald Trump and Kim meet in May or June.
The South Korean government has sought to make the event as open and transparent as possible, organizing a free live broadcast for South Koreans to watch on their phones or on giant TV screens in public places.
Over the next 60 years the two countries have had a rocky, tense relationship, worsening in the past five years amid Pyongyang’s concerted push to develop its missile and nuclear programs.