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Leaders vow new era of peace at summit

Two Koreas issue joint Panmunjeom Declaration, agree to turn armistice into peace treaty this year

[Analysis] Two Koreas’ commitment to ‘complete denuclearization’ raises hope, concerns
Two Koreas’ commitment to ‘complete denuclearization’ raises hope, concerns
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un confirmed “the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula” in a joint statement.

[9:27 p.m.] 

NK leader, aides return to North
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, accompanied by his top aides and wife Ri Sol-ju, returned to the North around 9:27 p.m., drawing to a close Friday’s inter-Korean summit.

Koreas to declare end to Korean War
“(North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and I) declared that there will not be war on the Korean Peninsula and that a new era of peace is beginning,” President Moon Jae-in said.
Moon and Kim also agreed to meet again in Pyongyang in autumn, and to hold a reunion of families separated by the Korean War on Aug. 15.

Two Koreas toast ‘To the day when the two Koreas can freely cross each other’s territory!’
A total of 26 people from the North attended the banquet, including the North Korean leader, his wife, as well as his sister Kim Yo-jung, who was seen closely accompanying the leader throughout Friday’s summit.
From the South, a total of 32 people including the president and first lady, Rep. Choo Mi-ae, chairwoman of the ruling Democratic Party of Korea, Culture Minister Do Jong-hwan and Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry Chairman Park Yong-maan attended the banquet.

Summit banquet menu filled with symbolism
Some of the dishes served at the summit banquet pay homage to the people who strived for the peace and reunification of two Koreas, such as chilled salad made with octopus from Tongyeong, the hometown of internationally acclaimed composer Yun I-sang. Dumplings and bibimbap, prepared with ingredients from the birth towns of the two late presidents -- President Kim Dae-jung and President Roh Moo-hyun -- who visited Pyongyang for previous summits, were served.

Koreas agree on ‘practical steps’ to restore cross-border railway
“As a first step, the two sides agreed to adopt practical steps towards the connection and modernization of the railways and roads on the eastern transportation corridor as well as between Seoul and Sinuiju for their utilization,” it said.

[6:18 p.m.]

Ri Sol-ju arrives to attend summit banquet
South Korea‘s first lady Kim Jung-sook, who had been waiting for Ri at the doorstep, extended her warm welcome before entering the building together.
Upon entering, Moon and Kim who were standing together, held a brief chat with Ri and Kim Jong-sook. The four then participated in a photo session. 

[5:59 p.m.]

Panmunjeom Declaration summary
Seoul and Pyongyang will seek multilateral talks aimed at signing a peace treaty, easing military tension and cooperating toward denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, the two Koreas’ joint Panmunjeom Declaration states.
The declaration, drew up after a day of summit talks between President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, also states that Moon will visit Pyongyang later in the year, and that a reunion of families separated by the Korean War will be arranged.

[Highlights from the inter-Korean summit]

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un began talks for ways to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and establish lasting peace on the Korean Peninsula.

[5:12 p.m.]

South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean counterpart Kim Jong-un wrapped up their private talk on Foot Bridge.

[4:50 p.m.]

After jointly planting a tree near the Military Demarcation Line, South Korean President Moon Jae-in held a private talk with his counterpart Kim Jong-un on Foot Bridge.

[4:27 p.m.]

Leaders of Koreas jointly plant pine tree to symbolize peace and prosperity
The two Koreas chose a tree that sprouted in 1953 to emphasize the year the armistice was signed to end the 1950-53 Korean War, according to a press release issued by the presidential office of Cheong Wa Dae. 

Tree planting, other events add to sentiments
At 4:30 p.m., South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un were scheduled to plant a pine tree on the military demarcation line, bisecting the two Koreas, according to Cheong Wa Dae. The selected tree was germinated in 1953, the same year the armistice agreement was signed which ended the 1950-53 Korean War.

South Koreans emotional after witnessing historic Moon-Kim meeting
“I have to say I was touched,”Han Na-eun, a 30-year-old professional in Paju, told The Korea Herald. “Everything about it was surreal. Throughout my 20s, I experienced two conservative governments led by Park Geun-hye, and Lee Myung-bak. I never imagined that I would watch any South Korean president and Kim Jong-un in the same TV shot. Everyone in my office was emotional.”

[2:30 p.m.]

NK leader’s wife to attend official dinner at Panmunjeom
Ri Sol-ju will arrive at Panmunjeom at about 6:15 p.m. to join President Moon Jae-in and first lady Kim Jung-sook for a state dinner, Cheong Wa Dae said Friday.

Koreas hint at possibility of high-speed railway connecting South and North
Kim Jong-un praised the quality of South Korea’s high-speed train system in Pyeongchang, while citing worries that if Moon were to visit the North, he would be inconvenienced since the transportation infrastructure there is much less advanced.

Conversation between Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un
“(You) are coming to the South, when will I be able to visit the North?” Moon asked.
“Let’s step over now,” Kim Jong-un said, leading Moon across the Military Demarcation Line. 

Choice of car by leaders of two Koreas: Benz
Although it was not aired how Kim travelled 210 kilometers from the capital city of Pyongyang to the truce village of Panmunjeom for the summit, Kim returned to the North for lunch in one of his all-black armored Mercedes-Benz S600 Pullman Guard luxury limousine.
Coincidentally, South Korean President Moon Jae-in also appeared on Friday in his S600 Pullman Guard limo, the same model Kim has.

Will DMZ return to original state?
When the armistice agreement was signed in 1953, the two Koreas agreed to cease acts by armed forces and hostile activities by designating a stretch of land along the border area as the Demilitarized Zone.
But what has happened since then has been quite the opposite. 

Top military, diplomatic brass from South, North at inter-Korean summit
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un were accompanied by the most powerful officials from their countries at the inter-Korean summit held Friday at the truce village of Panmunjeom. 

[LIVE video in English] 


Kim Jong-un in spotlight: humorous and confident
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un looked confident and relaxed enough to make jokes as he emerged from a veil of secrecy Friday at Panmunjeom for a historic inter-Korean summit, part of his charm offensive to present himself as a leader of a normal country.

[11:55 a.m.]

Leaders of Koreas break for lunch
The morning session of the inter-Korean summit ended at 11:55 a.m. The summit meeting will continue in the afternoon.
For the lunch break, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his aides returned to the North.
After the break, President Moon Jae-in and Kim will take part in a tree planting ceremony, designed to symbolize unity.

South Koreans’ lunch today: Pyongyang Naengmyeon
After Kim Jong-un's remark referring to North Korean cold noodles, #PyongyangNaengmyeon immediately began trending online among South Koreans. Many chose to eat the noodles for lunch today in a nod to the monumental event.
A long line of over 20 diners was spotted in front of Pildong Myeonok, a popular naengmyeon eatery in central Seoul. 

Moon, Kim discuss inter-Korean issues
While details of the meeting remained undisclosed, Moon’s comments at the end of the morning session hinted at a positive outcome.
“As we have held many good discussions, (the results) would be a very good gift to the people of the South and North, to the people of the world,” Moon was quoted as saying by Cheong Wa Dae pool reporters. 

Who’s that woman accompanying North Korea’s Kim Jong-un?
For those wondering, she is not the first lady. She is Kim Yo-jong, the North Korean leader’s sister and the first vice department director of the North's Central Committee of the Worker’s Party of Korea.
She is the only daughter of North Korea’s late supreme leader Kim Jong-il and his wife Ko Yong-hui, a Japanese-born Korean dancer. She has two older brothers, Kim Jong-un who is the eldest and Kim Jong-chol. Kim Jong-nam, who was assassinated in Malaysia last year, is her half brother. 

Unexpected moments at inter-Korean summit
The unscripted moments were: President Moon stepping over the Military Demarcation Line into North Korea, North Korean military officials saluting Moon and the two leaders and their delegations taking a group photo with the North’s Panmungak in the background.

[10:15 a.m.] 

Laughter all around at inter-Korean summit
 “In the morning…. I heard that they talked about the dinner menu. We did manage to bring naengmyeon (Korean cold noodles) from Pyongyang. I hope President Moon can enjoy it… which came a long way… ah we probably shouldn’t say it is far.”
Moon and Kim and others in the room laughed when Kim jokingly corrected himself after he said he had brought the North’s signature naengmyeon from afar. Pyongyang, North Korea’s capital, is only 147 kilometers from Panmunjeom. 

Inter-Korean summit kicks off
Kim Jong-un: “(I) walked here with many thoughts, that if we put our will together, the lost 11 years would not have been a waste,” Kim said before the meeting began.
“I am here today with the belief that we are at the starting point of peace and prosperity, that we are firing the signal.”

Kim Jong-un's message at Panmunjeom guestbook
"A new history begins now. At the starting point of history and the era of peace."

Kim Jong-un’s handwriting reflects feisty personality: experts
His handwriting was slightly tilted, with the direction going upwards, which experts say indicate feisty and self-centered personality.
“The entire writing, as you can see, is slightly tilted and heading upwards on the right side. This kind of writing is often seen in successful and leading figures and it reflects they are full of confidence,” Lee Hee-il, the chief of International Forensic Science Laboratory said.

[9:34 a.m.]

Kim Jong-un inspects SK honor guard
President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un began the official proceedings of the day-long summit meeting, with the two leaders inspecting the South Korean military honor guard at 9:34 a.m. 

[9:28 a.m.]

Moon greets NK leader as he crosses border into South
President Moon Jae-in greeted North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as he crossed the border into South Korea at 9:28 a.m. for their first summit talks at Panmunjeom.
This is the first time a North Korean leader has set foot south of the border since before the 1950-53 Korean War, and the first inter-Korean summit since 2007.
Prior to Friday, inter-Korean summits were held in 2000 and 2007. In the first inter-Korean summit, South Korea was represented by President Kim Dae-jung, and in the latter by President Roh Moo-hyun. North Korea was represented by Kim Jong-il, the father of current leader Kim Jong-un, in both meetings. 


NK leader’s first step on South Korean soil
A group of South Korean press who were temporarily allowed to enter the North Korean side of the border to cover the historical encounter, took pictures of the two as they turned around towards them.
Both leaders then re-entered South Korean soil. Two South Korean children handed a bouquet of flowers to Kim when the two leaders casually strolled out of the strip of land between T2 and T3, blue one-story buildings administered by the UN Command known as conference row, which lies atop the MDL.

[Video] Main press center erupts into applause as inter-Korean summit kicks off
Reporters generally don’t clap at the events they’re covering, largely to remain impartial. It’s particularly true for South Korean reporters who usually maintain a calm, if not stoic, attitude at official events, no matter how big. But a rare moment occurred on Friday.

[9:03 a.m.]

Moon arrives at Panmunjom for historic inter-Korean summit

Moon arrived at the Joint Security Area of Panmunjom shortly after 9 a.m., about one hour after he left his presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul.
His historic summit with Kim was set to start at 9:30 a.m.