North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, in South Korea for the inter-Korean summit, told South Korean President Moon Jae-in that he would like to visit him in Seoul if he was invited. “Any time, if you invite me,” the North Korean leader remarked. The next session of the summit will take place on Friday afternoon. Also, Kim’s unscripted gesture took many by surprise when he invited Moon to briefly cross the inter-Korean border to the North Korean side, which South Korean officials said was not pre-arranged. After wrapping up the first-round session of talks at the summit, Kim Jong-un and his aides crossed back to the North side. Kim was escorted to lunch, in his Mercedes limousine, surrounded by a dozen jogging security guards.
The landmark summit meeting was broadcast live on screens across the South Korean capital of Seoul and residents gathered at a railway station applauded and cheered when Kim crossed the Military Demarcation Line and shook hands with Moon-Jae in. According to North Korea’s official news agency KCNA, leader Kim Jong-un is committed to "open-heartedly" discussing with Moon "all issues arising in improving inter-Korean relations”. Kim also said he would visit Seoul's presidential Blue House if invited. Moon's senior spokesman said that Kim joked to him that he would make sure not to interrupt Moon's sleep anymore, apparently referring to the North's series of early-morning missile tests last year, reported CBS News.
Kim's wife, Ro Sol Ju, will join the inter-Korean dinner banquet tonight and South Korea's first lady Kim Jung-sook will also accompany Moon Jae-in at the post-summit event, confirmed the South Korean presidential Blue House. They will dine on delicacies from both sides of the Korean border. Kim Jong-un has become the first North Korean leader to cross over to the southern side of the Demilitarised Zone since the Korean War ended in 1953. Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in have decided to hold talks over the subjects of worldwide implications -- the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula, a formal peace agreement and the improvement of bilateral relations. The outcomes of this meeting will likely help determine the possible future meeting with Donald Trump and Kim. The North's nuclear arsenal will be high on the agenda at the highly anticipated summit talks. The summit meeting, aimed at ending their decades-long conflict and easing tensions over the North’s nuclear weapons programme, comes weeks before Kim Jong-un is due to meet US President Donald Trump by early June.
Here are the top developments on the historic summit meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in:
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 | PTI\AP Photo
1. Trump hails success of inter-Korean summit: United States President Donald Trump on Friday hailed the major breakthrough of the historic inter-Korean summit, where North and South Korea agreed to sign a formal peace treaty, ending the 65-year-old war between them.
In a series of tweets, Trump wrote, "KOREAN WAR TO END! The United States, and all of its GREAT people, should be very proud of what is now taking place in Korea!"
"After a furious year of missile launches and Nuclear testing, a historic meeting between North and South Korea is now taking place. Good things are happening, but only time will tell!" Trump wrote in his second tweet.
2. An official end to the Korean War: After 65 years, the leaders of the two Korean states took a giant leap forward on Friday by officially declaring the commitment to bring an official end to the seven-decade-long conflict of the Korean War. After making the proclamation, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un said, "It took a long time for the two Koreas to come together... South and North Korea are the same people, the same blood, they cannot be separated".
3. Kim willing to visit Seoul:According to a report in AFP, Moon Jae-in told Kim that "I can show you scenes far better than this if you come to the Blue House", to which Kim responded: "Really? I will go to the Blue House any time if you invite me". Earlier, on the Military Demarcation Line that delineates the border, Moon asked Kim: "While you come to the South, when can I possibly go over there?" After stepping over the line and becoming the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the end of the Korean War in 1953, Kim replied: "Why don't we just cross over now?" – prompting Moon's unscripted entry into Northern territory.
Later, Kim Jong-un said: "The border is not even that high. Wouldn't it disappear if many people kept walking across it?"
As Kim Jong Un drove away from the early session of his summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, 12 bodyguards were seen running beside the vehicle https://t.co/55GwTNXwAt pic.twitter.com/UDhPfZPY6s— CNN (@CNN) 27 April 2018
4. Kim Jong Un's wife to join the inter-Korean dinner banquet tonight: According to the South Korean presidential Blue House, Kim Jong Un's wife, Ro Sol Ju, will join the inter-Korean dinner banquet tonight and South Korean first lady Kim Jung-sook will also attend the event.
Kim Jong Un's wife, Ro Sol Ju, will join the inter-Korean dinner banquet tonight, the South Korean presidential Blue House says. South Korean First Lady Kim Jung-sook will also attend— Anna Fifield (@annafifield) 27 April 2018
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in walk together at the border village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized Zone | Photo: AP\PTI
5. Kim Jong-un writes message of peace in the guest book: As the two Korean leaders, on the southern side of the demilitarised zone, proceeded along a red carpet to a fanfare from a marching band at the Peace House summit venue, Kim Jong-un signed a guest book in which he wrote, “a new history begins now” and “an age of peace, at the starting point of history”. According to media reports, after the summit talks conclude, Kim and Moon will together plant a memorial tree in the border truce village of Panmunjom. Also, the two Korean states’ heads would announce the results of the talks and attend a dinner hosted by Moon Jae-in before Kim Jon-un returns to Pyongyang.
6. 'Not even an ant can pass through', promises Kim Jong-un's security: Being the spearhead of world's most tightly-controlled societies, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has an assemblage of well-trained bodyguards prudently chosen for their fitness, marksmanship, martial arts skills and even looks.
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, is greeted by South Korean President Moon Jae-in, right, as Kim crossed the border into South Korea for their historic face-to-face talks, in Panmunjom | Photo: PTI\APMen in sharp suits and matching blue and white striped ties fanned out ahead of and around Kim as he approached the Military Demarcation Line for a historic handshake with his Southern counterpart Moon jae-in, said an AFP report.
According to a report in AFP, foreigners attending any event where Kim Jong-un will be present must go through hours of security procedures beforehand and surrender all electronics, including mobile phones.
"It is one of the world's tightest security blankets through which even a single ant would find it hard to go," North Korean government official informed.
: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, bottom sixth from right, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in, bottom fourth from left, pose for a group photo in Panmunjom | Photo: AP\PTI
7. North Korean officials accompanying Kim to the summit:According to a report in the Korean Herald, North Korea’s delegation includes a total of nine senior party, military and government officials, including Kim Yo-jong, the North Korean leader’s sister and the first vice-department director of North Korea's Central Committee of Workers’ Party, and Kim Yong-nam, the North’s ceremonial head of state, chief presidential secretary Im Jong-seok had told a news briefing on Thursday.
According to experts, Kim’s selection of officials reflects that he is entering negotiations with South President Moon Jae-in with a focus on denuclearisation, easing of military tensions and expansion of sports and culture exchanges. In previous inter-Korean summits in 2000 and 2007, North Korea’s military officials and diplomats were not included in the list of delegation. There are no officials covering economic affairs in North Korea’s delegation. The nine-member entourage has only one woman.
8. When “cold noodles” became a trending topic on Twitter: Some must be wondering what will Kim Jong-un be served at tonight's banquet? Kim has got for his counterpart Moon jae-in an edible gift from over the border. Well the North regime’s leader has brought along a chef who specialises in Pyongyang-style cold noodles, or naengmyeon, as a gesture of goodwill.
Once the inter-Korean summit began at the Peace House summit with both the states’ leaders and officials seated inside the room, Kim Jong-un tried to ease the rigid atmosphere of the closed-door talks when he quipped the he has brought along the signature North Korean “cold noodles” from far away. Everyone present at the table erupted into a laughter. Kim said, “I saw earlier that the dinner menu here is a very hot topic, I also brought with me cold noodles from Pyongyang so President I hope you can enjoy the Pyongyang noodles”.
9. Will North Korea denuclearise its nuclear arsenal?: If North Korea fulfils its commitment to completely dismantle the development of nuclear weapons and missiles, initiated by his grandfather, it would mean a significant reversal for the young Korean leader who has staked his security on his nuclear arsenal and spent years celebrating such weapons as an integral part of his regime’s legitimacy and power. South Korea said the rogue regime’s decision signified "meaningful" progress toward denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula and would create favourable conditions for successful talks. Kim’s dramatic announcement did not include a commitment to freeze its existing nuclear weapons and missiles that have raised doubts if he would ever give up the nuclear arsenal his nation has been developing for decades. According to a report in Reuters, experts say that North Korea’s offer not to test or transfer nuclear weapons appeared as a statement of an aim to be a “responsible” nuclear weapons state, rather than an intention to denuclearise. North Korea argued the weapons are vital for its self-defense, but it has decided to give them up in exchange for an end to US "hostile policy”, reported BBC news.
10. North Korea's nuclear test site collapses: Research by Chinese geologists shows the mountain above North Korea's main nuclear test site has collapsed, rendering it unsafe for further testing and requiring that it be monitored for any leaking radiation, reported AP. This may shed new light on North Korean President Kim Jong Un's announcement that his country was ceasing its nuclear testing programme. Nuclear explosions release enormous amounts of heat and energy, and the North's largest test in September was believed early on to have rendered the site in northeastern North Korea unstable. Chinese authorities have said they have detected no radiation risk from samples collected along the border.
With agency inputs