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Two Koreas’ leaders in historic handshake

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the South's President Moon Jae-in shook hands Friday over the Military Demarcation Line that divides their countries in a gesture laden with symbolism ahead of a historic summit. "I

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the South’s President Moon Jae-in shook hands Friday over the Military Demarcation Line that divides their countries in a gesture laden with symbolism ahead of a historic summit.

“I am happy to meet you,” Moon told Kim before the visitor stepped over the line, making him the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the Korean War ended in an armistice 65 years ago.

The two men briefly stepped back over the line into the North before walking to the Peace House building on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom for the summit — only the third of its kind since hostilities ceased in 1953.

It is the highest-level encounter yet in a whirlwind of nuclear diplomacy, and intended to pave the way for a much-anticipated encounter between Kim and US President Donald Trump.

In the most detailed direct reference to the process by Pyongyang so far, the North’s official KCNA news agency said Friday that Kim will “open-heartedly discuss… all the issues arising in improving inter-Korean relations and achieving peace, prosperity and reunification of the Korean peninsula”.

It did not mention denuclearisation, but the North’s atomic arsenal will be high on the agenda at the talks.

Last year Pyongyang carried out its sixth nuclear blast, by far its most powerful to date, and launched missiles capable of reaching the US mainland.

Its actions sent tensions soaring as Kim and Trump traded personal insults and threats of war.

Moon seized on the South’s Winter Olympics as an opportunity to broker dialogue between them, and has said his meeting with Kim will serve to set up the summit between Pyongyang and Washington.

Trump has demanded the North give up its weapons, and Washington is pressing for it to do so in a complete, verifiable and irreversible way.

But Seoul played down expectations Thursday, saying the North’s technological advances with its nuclear and missile programmes meant any deal would be “fundamentally different in nature from denuclearisation agreements in 1990s and early 2000s”.

“That’s what makes this summit all the more difficult,” the chief of the South’s presidential secretariat Im Jong-seok told reporters.

– Peace and denuclearisation –

Pyongyang is demanding as yet unspecified security guarantees to discuss its arsenal.

When Kim visited the North’s key backer Beijing last month in only his first foreign trip as leader, China’s official Xinhua news agency cited him saying that the issue could be resolved, as long as Seoul and Washington take “progressive and synchronous measures for the realisation of peace”.

In the past, North Korean support for denuclearisation of the “Korean peninsula” has been code for the removal of US troops from the South and the end of its nuclear umbrella over its security ally — prospects unthinkable in Washington.

“The big issues we know are peace and denuclearisation,” Yonsei University professor John Delury told AFP.

The two Koreas “can do a lot more on peace than on denuclearisation”, he said, but the post-summit statement will give “a lot of chance to analyse every word, reading between the lines, look for things that are there and not there”.

Pyongyang announced last week a moratorium on nuclear tests and intercontinental ballistic missiles, adding it would dismantle its Punggye-ri nuclear test site.

But it also said it had completed the development of its weapons and had no need for further tests.

Seoul has also promoted the idea of opening talks towards a peace treaty to formally end the 1950-53 Korean War, when hostilities stopped with a ceasefire, leaving the neighbours technically in a state of conflict.

Reunions of families left divided by the war could also be discussed at the summit, and Moon has told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe he will raise the emotive subject of Japanese citizens kidnapped by the North.

The summit is the highest-level encounter yet in a whirlwind of nuclear diplomacy

When Kim Jong Un steps over the line in the truce village of Panmunjom in the Demilitarized zone (DMZ) he will become the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the Korean War ended 65 years ago

Moon will greet Kim at the concrete blocks that mark the border between the two Koreas in the Demilitarized Zone

The road outside the South Korean presidential Blue House was lined with wellwishers waving flags

The meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in will be only the third of its kind since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Yahoo News

Review overview
  • sami April 27, 2018

    The next big and warm hand shakes would be of the leaders of the two brotherly people of Eritrea and Ethiopia. Let’s do it in the coming days or weeks and keep our arch enemies the savage evil muslim Arabs and their korakur mercenaries and deQalu poisonous snakes. God bless the beautiful, peaceful and kind people of Christian Habesha Eritrea/Ethiopia. We should also make peace soon and get back to development and prosperity with our Ethiopian brothers/sisters and above all keep the evil devil muslim barbarian Arabs with their korakur mercenaries far away. I am really amazed by the two brilliant Korean leaders courage and determination as not to have a third party mediator.

    • sami April 27, 2018

      addition: keep our arch enemies the savage evil muslim Arabs and their korakur mercenaries and the deQalu poisonous snakes ‘away’. Dialogues of give and take is urgently needed in Eritrea/ well with our old wise shimagiletat from both sides but not outsiders from so-called white mediators or worse of all those savage evil muslim Arabs should never be considered as mediators.

      • almaz April 27, 2018

        If weyane hand over badme, we do not even need hand shakes b/n leaders.

  • Tes April 27, 2018

    This exactly mirrors the situation between Ethio v Eritrea. Eritrea rules by Eseyas dynasty which is son is waiting in the corner to take over is North Korea while Ethiopia is on the right track to become democratic nation is like South Korea. Who know our mad dog get sense make peace with his people and world. The USA delicate have been in the horn albeit not top diplomate but can help to facilitate to highly desired peace in the horn and especially in Ertrea.

  • Tesfaldet April 27, 2018

    This is bad news for USA sauth korea was their frind

  • rezen April 27, 2018

    After 65 years of separation the two leaders of the two Koreans made heart warming history and meaning full ceremony. All the best to the people of the two Koreans

    I had a Korean friend who had Family Members in both Koreans. In normal conversation, I came to learn their heartaches as well as hope.

  • Hagos April 28, 2018

    Congratulations Korea and the Korean people. Yes, there is long way to go and these are your first steps.
    This is what I dream for the the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia. This may take few years; however, I guarantee ya. The people of Korea will live in peace as one people, so will the people of Eritrea and Ethiopia.
    If the Koreans can do it, so will the Eritreans and Ethiopians despite the few but laud futile failed and bankrupted elites.

  • Danilo April 28, 2018

    Good news and good luck for Koreans. If that meets way to be United as Germans did let’s wait and see. The two north and south Yemenis have done too. Even if the north and south Sudanese do for the future is sacred because all have the same name of nations now let’s come to the case of ethio -Eritrea, as two distinct nations even by name ( unlike the above mentioned ) I never heard an Ethiopian say ” I am Eritrean & vice versa ” as Eritrean too. Never says ” I am Ethiopian “. If you debate having one language, traditione, culture and common interest obviously only brothers hood. Otherwise, Sudanese also our brothers too. If we have to join us Dr Bereket / tesfatsion ( pan. Africanist ) despite they joined the Eritrean struggle now, are advocating unity with Ethiopia. Pls see / hear YouTube.