N.Korea leader Kim in S.Korea for peace, nuclear talks

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in historic handshake

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in are meeting at their mutual border.

Mr Kim has crossed over to the southern side, the first North Korean leader to do so since the end of the Korean War.

They will discuss North Korea’s indications it could be willing to give up its nuclear weapons.

North Korea has been isolated for decades because of its nuclear and missile programme and its dismal human rights record.

The meeting could pave the way for Mr Kim to meet US President Donald Trump later this year.

Victoria University

North Korean state-run Central Television started broadcasting at 15:00 local time (06:30 GMT) sticking to its regular schedule despite the ongoing Inter Korea Summit, Alistair Coleman at BBC Monitoring reports.

The station went through its usual opening sequence – martial music, views of Mount Paektu, and photographs of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il before a preview of the day’s broadcasting.

At 06:42 GMT a male news presenter read the KCNA statement of Kim Jong-un leaving for the summit. There was neither video nor photographs.

State television does not appear to be airing any special programming today regarding the summit.

Poised for state TV

North Korean state TV is firing up – it goes on air quite late in the day. North Koreans tuning in now are hearing martial music and views of Mount Paektu – seen as a sacred mountain by many Koreans.

From ‘hypocrites’ to ‘friends’?

It’s not always been warm words and handshakes. North Korean state media has often had a barrage of insults ready in stock for whoever is at the helm in the South.

Last summer, the Rodong Sinmun paper blasted Moon Jae-in as “poor and very disappointing”, relations between the two sides as a “failure” and any Southern efforts at reconciliation as “hypocrisy”. Back then, Southern efforts toward denuclearisation were “an unpardonable plot toeing the US line to suffocate the DPRK”.

Many pundits doubt whether there’s really been a change of heart in Pyongyang.

‘Permanent peace’

“The two leaders had a sincere and frank dialogue over the denuclearisation and the establishment of permanent peace of the Korean peninsula and development of inter-Korea ties,” said Yoon Young-chan

‘Create a better world’

A reminder: this is what Kim Jong-un told Moon Jae-in, as relayed by South Korea’s presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan.

“Kim Jong-un said that he came here to put an end to the history of conflict, discuss and remove obstacles between us with the South Korean president. He said let’s meet more often and we should be determined not to go back to square one. Kim also said let’s live up to all the expectations and create a better world.”

Source: BBC



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