North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (2024)

Table of Contents
What we covered here Here's what happened at the historic Korea summit UN leader: Many people were moved by the Korean leaders coming together Korean leaders agreed to end a 68-year-old war today Kim Jong Un's security detail includes jogging bodyguards Kim and Moon say goodbye before leaving the DMZ China congratulates North Korea and South Korea on their summit A flashy show to wrap up a historic summit Trump praises Chinese leader Xi's impact on Korean breakthrough Kim: "New chapter in our history" Moon and Kim toast at banquet What's happened so far Trump tweets on summit Moon to travel to Pyongyang this year Instant analysis: "There’s still an enormous amount to be worked out" What about denuclearization? Kim Jong Un: "We have long waited for this moment to happen. All of us." BREAKING: North and South Korea vow to end Korean War China on summit: 'Disasters are never powerful enough to separate real brothers' Summit meetings resume Moon and Kim hold private conversation Kim and Moon hold ceremonial tree-planting More details about the inter-Korean banquet revealed What's happened at the inter-Korean summit so far Kim and Moon talked denuclearization this morning, South Korea says Wives of Kim and Moon will attend banquet, South Korea says What the US, North Korea and South Korea want Kim Jong Un says he's willing to go to Seoul Kim Jong Un: "My heart won't stop fluttering" Kim Jong Un's sister returns to South Korea Former North Korean diplomat: Kim will see Moon meeting as a victory How Kim Jong Un got Moon Jae-in to step across line into north What South Koreans think about the summit Who's at the table for the first inter-Korean summit meeting Instant analysis: What the experts are saying about the summit's first moments The view from South Korea, China and Japan Kim Jong Un is off to lunch Here's what happens after the first closed-door meeting The military demarcation line is now a "symbol of peace," Moon says Who's who at the inter-Korean summit Moon crossing north was not planned Kim: "Why was it so difficult to get here?" Media center gasps as Kim crosses DMZ Moon Jae-in: "Spring (is) spreading in South Korea" The room where the two leaders will meet underwent a dramatic makeover Kim Jong Un: "A new history starts now" White House: "We wish the Korean people well" The two leaders retreated to a meeting room Kim signs guest book at Peace House Kim and Moon posed with children for a photograph after greeting and shaking hands Kim and Moon shake hands on both sides of demarcation line The historic Korean summit begins North Korea's human rights situation is not expected to be a major topic of discussion These women marched near the DMZ to call for peace Moon is getting ready This isn't the first time a South Korean leader has met his counterpart Moon has arrived Moon's getting closer Former US diplomat on summit: "Expectations have been seriously elevated" This is today's top story in Pyongyang Moon has left the building How South Korea is promoting the summit This is the route Kim Jong Un may take to the DMZ The two leaders will hold talks in the Peace House Here's what we know about the historic summit Kim Jong Un leaves Pyongyang for historic summit Mike Pompeo secretly met with Kim Jong Un before summit Read more Read more

By Joshua Berlinger, Nick Thompson and Euan McKirdy, CNN

Updated 11:43 AM EDT, Fri April 27, 2018

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (4)

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With one step, Kim Jong Un just made history

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What we covered here

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Our live coverage has ended. Scroll through the posts below to see what happened during the historic summit.

Here's what happened at the historic Korea summit

The leaders of North Korea and South Korea met today for the first time in over a decade. Here are the highlights from the summit:

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in met at the line that separates the divided Koreas. Kim then stepped over the raised Military Demarcation Line, entering territory controlled by the South for the very first time. After posing for the cameras, Kim then grasped Moon’s hand and they briefly crossed into the northern side:

The two leaders had meetings with officials, and then Kim and Moon took part in a symbolic tree-planting ceremony in the DMZ. The tree was from 1953, the year the Korean War armistice was signed.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (5)

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in participate in a tree-planting ceremony

Then, they signed the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula. The document commits the two countries to a nuclear-free peninsula and talks to bring a formal end to the Korean War.

The leaders ended the summit with a formal dinner — and a toast.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (6)

UN leader: Many people were moved by the Korean leaders coming together

The United Nations Secretary General applauded the historic Korea summit and noted that many around the world are “moved by the powerful imagery,” according to a statement from his spokesman.

Secretary General Antonio Guterres “salutes the courage and leadership that resulted in the important commitments and agreed actions outlined” today, Stéphane Dujarric, spokesman for the secretary general, said.

Here’s the full statement:

Korean leaders agreed to end a 68-year-old war today

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (7)

North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (l.) and South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (r.) toast during the official dinner at the end of their historic summit.

Leaders of the two Koreas haveagreed to end the Korean War — 65 years after hostilities ceased — in a wide-ranging joint announcement struck Friday,

The Koreas went to war in 1950 when soldiers from the North Korean People’s Army invaded the South.

The armed conflict ended three years later in 1953, with the signing of an armistice agreement, but no formal peace treaty was ever signed, and technically, the Peninsula remains at war.

Learn more about how Korea split here.

Kim Jong Un's security detail includes jogging bodyguards

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (8)

North Korean bodyguards jog next to a car carrying North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un.

Kim Jong Un left DMZ moments ago in a black a car — flanked by a group ofrunningbodyguards.

The jogging bodyguards have traveled with Kim throughout the summit. Here’s a look at the security detail in action:

Kim and Moon say goodbye before leaving the DMZ

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (9)

And that is that. Kim and Moon have left the demilitarized zone and the inter-Korean summit has officially come to a close.

Kim and his wife said their goodbyes to Moon and his wife before being driven in a car – flanked once again by Kim’s running bodyguards – out of the Peace Village and presumably en route to Pyongyang.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (10)

Kim and Moon leave behind a feeling of promise and positivity that hasn’t been felt on the Korean Peninsula for years. Along with a promise to finally end the war which has hung like a cloud over this part of the world for 65 years, the agreement they signed will see increased communication and cooperation going forward.

There will be much to debrief in the coming days and weeks for the two leaders and their allies, and now the focus will fall on US President Donald Trump’s planned meeting with Kim – it’s been mooted for the end of May or beginning of June.

China congratulates North Korea and South Korea on their summit

From CNN’s Steven Jiang

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman Lu Kang congratulated North Korea and South Korea for a “successful summit” in a statement on Friday.

Here’s the statement:

A flashy show to wrap up a historic summit

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (11)

A light show is projected onto the side of the Peace House at the conclusion of the Inter-Koreas Summit.

Friday’s events in the demilitarized zone concluded with a suitably flashy performance. A Korean song called “One dream, One Korea” by South Korean singer Minah was performed by a pianist and accompanying orchestra while a huge projection was played onto the side of the Peace House.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (12)

It was an incredible spectacle and a breathtaking end to a truly epic day. Kim and Moon held hands while watching the performance, which was followed by an immense slide show projecting the day’s events onto the side of the building.

Moon, Kim, and their wives watched highlights of today’s events and a video entitled ‘Korea past, present and future’.

Trump praises Chinese leader Xi's impact on Korean breakthrough

In one of a flurry of tweets Friday morning, US President Donald Trump praised the help that his “good friend” Xi Jinping, the Chinese President, has offered in moving forward the nascent peace process on the Korean Peninsula.

Kim: "New chapter in our history"

Speaking at the banquet following today’s summit, Kim said “we need to maintain peace” and “open a new era of co-prosperity” to overcome the challenges facing the Korean Peninsula. He said he was ready to “display commitment” to building peace “to the world.”

Moon and Kim toast at banquet

Following the summit, the two leaders and their wives attended a banquet dinner at the Panmunjom Truce Village.

In the picture below, Kim and his wife Ri Sol Ju share a toast with Moon-Jae in.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (13)

What's happened so far

For parts of the world that are just waking up, here’s a quick summary of Friday’s summit.

North and South Korea took the first tentative steps towards peace on Friday during a summit with global implications.

The day began when Kim Jong Un became the first North Korean leader to cross into South Korean territory since fighting in the Korean War ended in 1953.

It culminated with the two countries vowing to formally end the war and agreeing to work towards the “complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula”.

Kim and Moon Jae-in had never met before they shook hands and posed for pictures on both sides of demarcation line separating the two Koreas on Friday morning.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (14)

After a morning of meetings with officials, Kim and Moon took part in a symbolic tree-planting ceremony in the DMZ. The tree is from 1953, the year the Korean War armistice was signed. Kim used soil from a mountain on the southern island of Jeju while Moon used earth from Mount Paektu in the north.

Then, the two leaders left their officials behind and walked alone through the DMZ to a footbridge that was recently repainted the same blue used on the Korean Unification Flag. Unexpectedly, they talked for 30 minutes alone.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (15)

The stunning moment of the summit when the pair signed an agreement on a range of measures aimed at reducing tensions and perhaps one day reuniting the Korean Peninsula.

They also agreed that Moon will travel toPyongyanglater this year.

Plus, the two countries will establish a “joint liaison office,” organize reunions of families separated by the six-decade-old conflict, and will arrange another high-level meeting to be held in mid-June.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (16)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in embrace after signing the Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula during the Inter-Korean Summit.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (17)

Trump tweets on summit

US President Donald Trump is up and tweeting. He’s cautiously positive about the day’s progress:

In a second tweet, 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!”

Moon to travel to Pyongyang this year

South Korean PresidentMoon will travel toPyongyanglater this year, according to the statement released by his office following the summit.

Moon and Kim also agreed to a host of other measures in the agreement they signed.

Here are some of them:

  • North and South Korea will establish a “joint liaison office” in the Kaesong region, where the two countries used to operate an industrial complex.
  • The two sides agreed to “encourage more active cooperation, exchanges, visits and contacts at all levels in order to rejuvenate the sense of national reconciliation and unity.”
  • Both countries will hold a special meeting on June 15.
  • North and South Korea will jointly participate in international sporting events like the Asian Games, which will be held this year in Indonesia.
  • The two countries will hold reunions for families separated by the division of the Korean Peninsula on August 15.
  • Both sides agreed to stop blasting propaganda through loudspeakers on the border.
  • North and South Korea agreed to meetings between defense ministers.

Instant analysis: "There’s still an enormous amount to be worked out"

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (18)

Mike Chinoy, senior fellow at the University of California’s US-China Institute and former CNN Beijing bureau chief:

Vipin Narang, professor of political science at MIT and a member of the school’s Security Studies Program:

Duyeon Kim, visiting senior fellow at the Korean Peninsula Future Forum in Seoul

What about denuclearization?

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (19)

Kim Jong Un didn’t address denuclearization when speaking after the signing ceremony, but the joint declaration signed by both leaders said that both sides have “confirmed the common goal of realizing, through complete denuclearization, a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula.”

It goes on:

When asked about the fact that Kim didn’t mention the phrase, a spokesman for the Moon’s administration said “the agreement is a binding document. His speech is not.”

Kim Jong Un: "We have long waited for this moment to happen. All of us."

Standing alongside Moon at the foot of Peace House, Kim addressed the international media on Friday, declaring that the two Koreas are one united people who should work together toward reunification.

“We are not a people that should be confronting each other … we should be living in unity,” Kim said. “We have long waited for this moment to happen. All of us.”

Kim did not appear to mention denuclearization in his speech, though Moon said both sides agreed to the complete denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula.

“The road I have used today, I sincerely hope every South and North Korean citizen can use this road,” Kim said. “We will be able to enjoy peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula without having to fear the war.”

The full text to today’s declaration in English can be found here

BREAKING: North and South Korea vow to end Korean War

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (20)

North and South Korea vowed to formally end the Korean War, 65 years after hostilities ceased,the two countries announced in a joint declaration Friday.

The document, formally called the “Panmunjom Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification of the Korean Peninsula,” was revealed after a full day of meetings and a 30-minute private conversation in the past hour between Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in.

“The two leaders solemnly declared before the 80 million Korean people and the whole world that there will be no more war on the Korean Peninsula and thus a new era of peace has begun,” the declaration said.

Fighting in the Korean War ended in 1953 in stalemate, after which an armistice agreement was signed. But a peace treaty never followed, and the two sides are still technically at war.

“There will not be any more war on the Korean Peninsula, a new era of peace has begun,” Moon said after signing the declaration.

“Chairman Kim Jong Un and I have agreed that complete denuclearization will be achieved, and that is our common goal.”

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (21)

This post has been updated to clarify the translation.

China on summit: 'Disasters are never powerful enough to separate real brothers'

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (22)

Newspapers show China's Xi Jinping and North Korea's Kim Jong Un and their spouses meeting each other last month.

A spokeswoman for China’s Foreign Ministry said Friday that Beijing applauds “the North and South Korean leaders for taking this historic step, and commend their political judgment and courage.”

“An ancient Chinese poem says: ‘Disasters are never powerful enough to separate real brothers, and a smile is all they need to eliminate the hard feelings.’ We hope they take this historic meeting at Panmunjom as an opportunity to further launch a new path leading to lasting peace and security on the Korean Peninsula,” she said.

China and North Korea are historic allies who boast an alliance forged in blood – more than 130,000 Chinese troops, including the son of Mao Zedong, died defending the North during the Korean War. They still maintain a mutual defense treaty, but the relationship has always been an uneasy one.

Though Mao once called the two countries as close as lips and teeth, their bond has become strained since Kim took power in 2011. Kim has purged several key officials with close ties to Beijing, including his uncle, Jang Song Thaek, and continued to test missiles and nuclear weapons in defiance of China’s wishes.

Kim had never traveled abroad as leader of his country until last month, when he met with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Beijing.

North Korea is still dependent on China for economic support – some 90% of its imports come from across the Yalu and Tumen rivers that divide the two countries – but China is worried that Pyongyang could strike a deal that brings it closer to Beijing’s adversaries.

Read more here

Summit meetings resume

Moon and Kim have returned from their walk and are back in the Peace House for afternoon meetings.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (23)

Moon and Kim hold private conversation

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (24)

After the ceremonial tree planting, Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un took a friendly stroll through the DMZ to a footbridge that was recently repainted the same blue seen on the Korean Unification Flag.

They walked past an old, rusted sign which indicates the military demarcation line.

Kim and Moon sat down on chairs that were set up there and held a roughly half hour one-on-one conversation.

What they talked about is unknown as of now. None of their aides were in attendance and it was just the two of them, save for some photographers and videographers.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (25)

Kim and Moon hold ceremonial tree-planting

Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in kicked off the afternoon portion of the summit with a ceremonial tree-planting ceremony in the demilitarized zone.

Kim arrived in the DMZ in his limousine, again with his bodyguards running alongside the vehicle.

After Kim shook hands with Moon, the two shoveled some soil onto a pine tree that was already in the ground before the leaders arrived.

The tree is from 1953, the year the Korean War armistice was signed. Kim used soil from a mountain on the southern island of Jeju while Moon used earth from Mount Paektu in the north.

Each leader watered the tree with water from the other’s territory.

After the tree planting, they each revealed a stone that commemorated the occasion, with the phrase “peace and prosperity planted” on it. The leaders’ names and the date was also printed on the stone.

More details about the inter-Korean banquet revealed

We’re learning more about the banquet dinner that will take place tonight following the summit meetings, including the fact that Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in will crack dome-shaped chocolates with mallets.

Eleven North Korean singers, actors and other artists will attend the banquet.

Twenty-sixth North Koreans and 34 South Koreans will attend the dinner.

Earlier this week, the South Korean presidential office released details on 10 dishes that will be served at the banquet on Friday night, and each dish is stuffed with symbolism.

The food is sourced from across from the Korean Peninsula. A highlight is Pyongyang Naengmyun, a dish of cold noodles beloved by many Koreans but perfected by the North Koreans.

The dish is so good that the North is dispatching its top chef to the border, along with a noodle-making machine, to serve it up tonight.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (26)

Pyongyang Naengmyun, a dish of cold noodles.

What's happened at the inter-Korean summit so far

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (27)

Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un shake hands on the southern side of the demilitarized zone after meeting.

For parts of the world that are just waking up, here’s what you need to know.

It’s been a busy morning on the Korean Peninsula.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un appeared at about 9:30 South Korean time for his historic summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

He walked up to the demarcation line that divides the two countries and shook hands with Moon.

The pair shared pleasantries and, in an impromptu moment, briefly crossed to the north side of the demarcation line for a photo op before walking back into the southern side.

Here’s video of the moment:

After a welcoming ceremony filled with pomp and circ*mstance, the leaders then retreated to the Peace House, where Kim Jong Un signed the guestbook.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (28)

Kim Jong Un signs the guest book ahead of his meeting with Moon Jae-in.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (29)

They then entered the recently redesigned meeting room and gave statements on camera before the media was kicked out for the closed-door talks, which lasted for two hours.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (30)

Kim then traveled back to the northern side of the DMZ in a limousine surrounded by body guards as both delegations retired for lunch.

That happened about two hours ago, and now we’re waiting for the North Korean leader to cross south again for the afternoon portion of the summit.

Read our full report here

Kim and Moon talked denuclearization this morning, South Korea says

From CNN's Ben Westcott and Joshua Berlinger

The two Korean leaders spoke for 100 minutes during their morning meeting, South Korean presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan said.

During their conversation, Yoon said Kim and Moon addressed the three top agenda items for the summit: denuclearizing the Korean Peninsula, improving relations, and seeking a formal peace settlement.

Yoon also said the two sides are in the process of drafting a joint declaration.

While there is no expectation that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will immediately dismantle his nuclear arsenal follow talks with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in, analysts say South Korea is likely pushing for some agreement or wording that will give the world a better idea of how serious he is about disarming.

In recent months, the North Korean leader has spoken publicly about “denuclearization,” but experts told CNN it isn’t clear Kim is talking the same language as the US and South Korea.

Many observers are skeptical that Kim would ever relinquish the nuclear weapons his regime has spent so much time and money on.

Read more about what denuclearization means to each side here

Wives of Kim and Moon will attend banquet, South Korea says

From CNN's James Griffiths in Ilsan
North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (31)

In this April 14 file photo provided by the North Korean government, Ri Sol Ju claps while walking with her husband in Pyongyang.

The spouses of Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un – Kim Jung-sook and Ri Sol Ju, respectively – will attend the banquet tonight after the summit meetings conclude, a South Korean presidential spokesman said at an afternoon briefing.

Ri is expected to arrive at Panmunjom this evening.

Read more about Ri here

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (32)

Moon Jae-in and his wife Kim Jung-sook during a visit to Vietnam last month.

What the US, North Korea and South Korea want

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (33)

Here’s what the United States, South Korea and North Korea want from today’s meeting and the planned summit between President Trump and Kim:

  • The Trump administration wants the complete, verifiable, irreversible denuclearization of North Korea.
  • South Korea is also pushing for North Korea to dismantle its nuclear program, and it’s one of the top issues on the agenda for today’s summit, along with establishing a permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula (the Korean War ended in stalemate in 1953 with a truce) and advancing inter-Korean relations.
  • North Korea’s goals are is less clear. Kim Jong Un says he is committed to the path of denuclearization, a North Korean source told CNN, but some observers doubt he will ultimately give up his nuclear weapons. In the past, North Korea has sought security guarantees and demanded the US drop what the North describes as its “hostile policy.” The country has long wanted the US to remove its military presence from South Korea, where more than 20,000 troops are stationed, though Moon has said that Kim agreed to drop that demand as a condition for denuclearization.

Then there’s the bigger issue of whether North and South would ever reunify as one country.

Since 1972, both North and South Korea have been committed to reunifying the peninsula through peaceful, non-military means “without depending on foreign powers and without foreign interference.”

What reunification looks like, however is unclear. Since their division after World War II, the two countries have become markedly different places, with different cultures and even colloquial language.

Kim Jong Un says he's willing to go to Seoul

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (34)

Kim Jong Un walks with Moon Jae-in down a red carpet past a welcoming ceremony to the summit.

Kim has told Moon that he would be willing to visit the Presidential Blue House (South Korea’s equivalent of the White House) in Seoul.

Here’s how it happened, according to South Korean presidential spokesman Yoon Young-chan:

Kim Jong Un: "My heart won't stop fluttering"

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (35)

Moon and Kim on the southern side of the demilitarized zone.

After Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in met for the first time, the North Korean leader was very open about how excited he was during the encounter.

Here’s how it went down, per the journalists who were there:

Kim: “Nice to meet you”.

Moon: “Was it not hard to come here?”

Kim: “No.”

Moon: “Nice to meet you.”

Kim: “My heart won’t stop fluttering, to meet at such a historic location. Also, I’m very moved that you have come all the way to [military demarcation line] to greet.”

Moon: “It was a very courageous decision for you to come all the way here.”

KJU: “No, no.”

Moon: “We have made a historic moment.”

Kim Jong Un's sister returns to South Korea

From CNN's Angela Dewan
North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (36)

Kim Jong Un signs the guest book at Peace House next to his sister Kim Yo Jong.

Kim Jong Un’s younger sister, Kim Yo Jong, was among the six delegates with a seat at the table as talks began. She was sole woman among them, and she diligently took notes as her brother beside her spoke.

It is the second time in three months that Kim Yo Jong, 30, has been in the South: She became the face of the North Korean delegation at the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang in February.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (37)

She appears to have become a central figure in the historic talks and is a close aide of her brother’s. She manages his public events, itineraries and logistical needs, according to North Korea Leadership Watch.

Read more here

Former North Korean diplomat: Kim will see Moon meeting as a victory

From CNN's James Griffiths in Ilsan

Through his summits with South Korean President Moon Jae-in and US President Donald Trump, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un wants acceptance as a “leader of a new nuclear state,” said North Korea’s former deputy ambassador to the UKThaeYong Ho.

Thae, who defected in 2016 and now lives in South Korea under heavy security for his own safety, spoke to CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in Seoul but requested the exact location not be revealed.

“The propaganda … in North Korea is saying quite different things to its citizens. (They say) the peaceful atmosphere around North Korea is the direct achievement and outcome of the completion of nuclear weapons and development.”

He pointed to the location of the talks as an example of how different the two countries see the situation.

“That special area of Panmunjom is interpreted quite differently between North and South,”Thaesaid. “In South Korea, it is a symbol of peace, which ended the Korean War. In North Korea, it’s the place where America was forced to sign a surrender … so Panmunjom is a symbol of victory.”

“Now Kim Jong Un will appear there … as the leader of a nuclear state, and will be very warmly welcomed, North Korea may (interpret this) quite differently for their own people,” he predicted.

How Kim Jong Un got Moon Jae-in to step across line into north

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (38)

South Korean President Moon Jae-In and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un are seen ahead of their summit meeting.

Moon Jae-in briefly crossed the military demarcation line (which divides the two sides of the demilitarized zone) from South to North during his first encounter with Kim Jong Un.

It was an impromptu decision by both sides, a spokesman for Moon explained.

The spokesman said Moon complemented Kim on his courage by crossing into the South. When he asked Kim when it would be possible for him to visit the North, Kim said:“Maybe this is the right time for you to enter the North Korean territory.”

What South Koreans think about the summit

CNN talked to South Koreans to get their thoughts about the historic summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un.

Here’s what they told us:

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (39)

Jay Kang, 39, shoe store owner

Lee Byung-gil, 50

Lee Hee-young, 58

Seo Dong-woo, 20

Who's at the table for the first inter-Korean summit meeting

Six people were seen at the round table inside the meeting room at the start of today’s summit.

On the North Korean side, Kim Jong Un sat alongside his sister Kim Yo Jong and top government official and former spy chief Kim Yong Chol.

Flanking Moon Jae-in were Suh Hoon, the head of South Korea’s spy agency, and Chief Presidential Secretary Im Jong-Suk.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (40)

Instant analysis: What the experts are saying about the summit's first moments

From CNN's James Griffiths and Joshua Berlinger

Adam Cathcart, editor of SinoNK.com and a lecturer at Leeds University:

Adam Mount, director of the Defense Posture Project at the Federation of American Scientists:

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (41)

Kim Jong Un prepares to sign the guest book ahead of his meeting with South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Anwita Basu, analyst at The Economist Intelligence Unit:

The view from South Korea, China and Japan

Friday’s summit will be viewed from different angles by Asia’s various regional powers. Here’s a snapshot:

South Korea

From CNN’s Paula Hanco*cks near the DMZ:

China

From CNN’s Matt Rivers in Beijing:

Japan

From CNN’s Junko Ogura in Tokyo:

Japan has applauded South Korea’s efforts in organizing today’s inter-Korean summit and says it expects “positive discussions” in order to solve issues such as “abductions, nuclear and missiles,” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a regular news conference on Friday.

Kim Jong Un is off to lunch

Kim Jong Un has traveled back to the North Korean side of the demilitarized zone as the two sides break for lunch. He entered a black Mercedes-Benz limousine surrounded by bodyguards, which then drove across the military demarcation line – with the guards running beside the vehicle.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (42)
North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (43)
North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (44)

CNN’s Will Ripley, who has traveled to North Korea more than a dozen times, said Kim’s security detail is both impressive and intimidating.

Here's what happens after the first closed-door meeting

From CNN's Vasco Cotovio in Hong Kong
North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (45)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (center right) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (center left) walk together with members of their delegations.

Kim and Moon are expected to go their separate ways for lunch, and then meet up again to plant a pine tree from 1953 (the year the Korean War armistice was signed).

The pine tree is a symbol of strength but also mindfulness in Tae Kwon Do, a Korean form of martial arts, because it grows strong roots below ground and high above it.

The military demarcation line is now a "symbol of peace," Moon says

From CNN’s James Griffiths in Ilsan
North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (46)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in said that as North Korean Leader Kim Jong Un crossed the military demarcation line (MDL), it became a symbol of peace, as he made his opening remarks at the beginning of the first inter-Korean summit in more than a decade.

“I would like to pay tribute to the courageous and bold decision made by you chairman Kim to arrange our meeting,” he said.

Moon echoed Kim’s assertion that their encounter was extremely important and that expectations on both of them were very high. “I believe our encounter is extremely important for all of us and that of course means there is a huge burden on our shoulders,” Moon said.

He went on to say that after not speaking for so long, he could talk to the North Korean leader the entire day.

“Over the past seven decades we weren’t able to communicate, so I think we can talk the whole day today,” Moon said, drawing laughs from Kim.

Who's who at the inter-Korean summit

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (47)

Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in brought delegations with them for today’s talks. Here are some of the key people on both sides.

Kim’s side:

  • Kim Yong Nam, North Korea’s ceremonial head of state. Kim was part of the delegation that traveled to the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February.
  • Kim Yong Chol, vice-chairman of the Party Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK). He was previously the country’s spy chief and is widely believed to have masterminded the sinking of a South Korean navy ship that killed 46 sailors in 2010. He led the North’s delegation to the closing ceremony of the Winter Games.
  • Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un’s sister. She is the first vice director of the Central Committee of the WPK and runs the country’s Propaganda and Agitation Department. In February, Kim became the first member of her family ever to travel into South Korea since the Korean War, leading her country’s delegation to the Winter Olympics. She personally extended an invitation from Kim Jong Un to Moon Jae-in to travel to North Korea.

Moon’s side:

  • Chung Eui-yong, South Korea’s national security chief. Chung led the delegation that traveled to Pyongyang last month to meet with Kim Jong Un ahead of today’s summit. He then traveled to Washington to brief US President Donald Trump on his meeting with Kim.
  • Suh Hoon, the head of the South Korean National Intelligence Service. Suh was also a member of the delegation sent to Pyongyang and went with Chung to Washington.
  • Cho Myoung-gyon, the head of South Korea Unification Ministry.
  • Kang Kyung-wha, South Korea’s foreign minister.
  • Song Young-moo, South Korea’s defense minister.

Moon crossing north was not planned

The moment when South Korean President Moon Jae-in crossed the military demarcation line into the northern side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) was not planned, South Korea’s Blue House said in a statement on Friday.

Watch the moment:

Kim: "Why was it so difficult to get here?"

From CNN's James Griffiths and Stella Ko
North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (48)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in walk togetherafter he crossed into the southern side of the DMZ.

Kim Jong Un kicked off this morning’s meeting with Moon Jae-in by telling him they should meet more often.

“As I walked over here, I thought, why was it so difficult to get here?” Kim told Moon and the South Korean delegation as they began talks.

“The separating line wasn’t even that high to cross. It was too easy to walk over that line and it took us 11 years to get here.

Media center gasps as Kim crosses DMZ

From CNN's James Griffiths and Sol Han in South Korea
North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (49)

Around 2,000 journalists are gathered at a media center in Ilsan, South Korea to cover the summit.

The room was tense as the journalists massed inside the Kintex Conference Center waited for their first sight of Kim Jong Un.

An audible gasp ran through the room as Kim walked down the steps towards the military demarcation line, followed by a loud cheers and applause from South Koreans in the room as the historic handshake took place and Kim stepped onto the south side.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (50)

The scene in Seoul station. Ji Kiang-jin is seen in the middle wearing the yellow shirt.

A crowd of people gathered at Seoul station to take in the summit, many taking photos of the moment Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in shook hands. when Kim crossed the military demarcation line, people applauded and wowed.

Ji Kwang-jin, seen in the yellow shirt in the above photo, told CNN he was happy to see such a positive reaction.

“I came here to just watch the moment along with the other people since it’s a historical moment I wanted to be with the public the moment I watch it,” he said.

Moon Jae-in: "Spring (is) spreading in South Korea"

From CNN's James Griffiths and Joshua Berlinger
North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (51)

Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in each delivered opening remarks with the press present in the meeting room.

This is some of what they said, according to the official translation provided by the South Korean government.

From Kim:

From Moon:

The room where the two leaders will meet underwent a dramatic makeover

Seoul gave the room where North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in will meet.

The room underwent a dramatic makeover and was redecorated with symbolic tidbits throughout.

The normal rectangular table has been replaced by an oval one. Moon’s office hopes the shape will encourage the summit’s participants to talk candidly.

Other design features focus on the shared history between the two countries, including incorporating elements of a Hanok, a traditional Korean house.

Here’s what it looks like:

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (52)

Kim Jong Un: "A new history starts now"

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (53)

Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in shake hands.

After entering the Peace House for the inter-Korean summit, Kim Jong Un wrote in the guest book “a new history begins now” and “an age of peace, at the starting point of history.”

Moon’s office posted a picture of Kim’s message.

White House: "We wish the Korean people well"

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (54)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands at the military demarcation line.

The White House has issued a statement on the Moon-Kim meeting:

The two leaders retreated to a meeting room

The pomp and circ*mstances of the initial encounter has concluded. Kim, Moon and their delegations are now retreating to the meeting room for a quick chat before serious talks get underway.

The talks are taking place at the Peace House, located in what’s known as either the Truce Village, the Joint Security Area (JSA) or Panmunjom.The Peace House is in the only part of the DMZ where troops from the two Koreas stand off face-to-face.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (55)

Kim signs guest book at Peace House

Kim Jong Un has entered the Peace House on the southern side of the demilitarized zone, where the summit meetings will take place, and signed the guestbook.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (56)

Kim and Moon posed with children for a photograph after greeting and shaking hands

After crossing into the southern side, Kim and Moon were photographed with two children from Daeseong-dong, the South Korean village inside the DMZ. They smiled and posed with the leaders at the start of the welcoming ceremony.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (57)

Kim and Moon shake hands on both sides of demarcation line

Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in first shook hands as each stood on either side of the military demarcation line that divides the two.

In a symbolic move, Moon then joined Kim on the northern side of the line before both leaders stepped over to the southern side, where Friday’s summit will take place.

They then took in a performance of arirang, a traditional Korean folk song known in the North and the South.

Kim did not appear to look at the South Korean military guards, instead staring straight ahead.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (58)

The historic Korean summit begins

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (59)

Kim Jong Un has become first North Korean leader to cross the line dividing the two Koreas since fighting ended in the Korean War.

Watch the historic moment:

North Korea's human rights situation is not expected to be a major topic of discussion

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (60)

South Koreans hold up placards of Moon and Kim during a rally in front of the Presidential Blue House on Thursday in Seoul.

The top items on the agenda for the summit are denuclearization, the establishment of peace and advancement of inter-Korean relations, according to President Moon Jae-in’s administration.

Human rights, however, hasn’t appeared to break through as a key topic, much to the dismay of advocates and North Korean defectors.

He continued: “The goal should be to find real, long-term solutions to the security challenges on the peninsula, while taking steps to improve the dire human rights situation in North Korea.”

Here’s what we know about North Korea’s human right’s situation:

  • Pyongyang is believed to operate a series of gulag-like prison camps throughout the country, which the United Nations estimates holds about 120,000 men, women and children. North Korea officially denies that the camps exist, but multiple human rights groups have documented their ongoing operation via survivor testimony and satellite imagery.
  • Political dissent is nonexistent and has been punished by death. There have been reports of North Koreans being punished for not properly cleaning the photographs of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il they’re required to have in their homes.
  • Entire families are purportedly punished when an individual gets in trouble with North Korean authorities.
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, for his part, had his own uncle executed after he was accused of treason. His half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, was killed in an airport in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur after being exposed to a deadly nerve agent. Authorities in Malaysia, South Korea and the US have all pinned the crime on the North Korean regime, which has denied any involvement.

These women marched near the DMZ to call for peace

From CNN's Sophie Jeong near the DMZ

Marchers gathered in Paju, not far from the demilitarized zone (DMZ), a day before the summit to call for peace.

More than 500 women from the International Women’s Peace Group chanted, “We are one.”

Moon is getting ready

President Moon Jae-in has exited his motorcade and is getting ready for the summit. We’re fewer than 20 minutes away from the expected handshake.

This isn't the first time a South Korean leader has met his counterpart

President Moon Jae-in won’t be the first South Korean leader to meet his North Korean counterpart.

The late South Korean Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun each traveled to Pyongyang for inter-Korean summits in 2000 and 2007, respectively.

Both walked away with a handful of agreements, but the good will didn’t last.

Still, experts say there are important lessons Moon and his administration can take from his predecessors’ successes and failures.

Here’s what happened in past summits:

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (61)

Moon has arrived

South Korean President Moon Jae-in has arrived in the demilitarized zone. He’s expected to shake hands with Kim Jong Un within the hour.

Moon's getting closer

South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s motorcade has crossed the Unification Bridge, which is close to the DMZ.

Though they don’t have to deal at all with traffic, the journey is taking a bit longer than expected, according to CNN’s Paula Hanco*cks. She is on the ground near the bridge.

Former US diplomat on summit: "Expectations have been seriously elevated"

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (62)

Evans Revere speaks to the media in this file photograph from 2007.

Evans Revere, a former deputy chief of mission and chargé d’affaires of the US Embassy in Seoul, spoke to CNN from Seoul about what to expect on at the summit.

He said the mood in some corners of South Korea is “optimistic bordering on euphoric.”

Revere said he was concerned that the dialogue coming from the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s regime has been too vague, a problem diplomats encountered during previous attempts at rapprochement with Pyongyang.

“The core issue going forward is going to be the one that we began with – which is is the North Korean leader, is North Korea serious about going down the path of denuclearization? And my answer to that is I don’t know,” he said.

“I suspect they may not be, but let’s hope that the North Koreans come to the table on Friday and say, ‘We are serious and here’s evidence that we’re prepared to go down that path.’ I’ll be the happiest man in the world if they come to the table and say something along those lines. But based on previous experience, I suspect they won’t.”

This is today's top story in Pyongyang

From CNN's Yoonjung Seo and James Griffiths

Rodong Sinmun, the official newspaper of the Workers’ Party of Korea (the main political party that runs North Korea), carried the news of the summit as their top story in today’s paper.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (63)

The headline reads:

Ordinary South Koreans are largely unable to see how North Korea is framing the event. North Korean state media and propaganda is censored in the South under a national security law dating to before the Korean War, and the websites of the official Korean Central News Agency and other outlets are blocked.

Moon has left the building

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (64)

South Korean President Moon Jae-in’s motorcade has left Seoul en route for the DMZ.

He was greeted by cheering supporters waving South Korean flags outside the Blue House, his official residence, where he shook hands with veterans of the Korean War. Before he left, Moon greeted a large crowd and shook hands with several well-wishers before climbing into a car.

It’s about 30 or so miles as the crow flies.

How South Korea is promoting the summit

The South Korean government has gone all out promoting the summit as the start of a new, peaceful era in inter-Korean relations across the capital of Seoul.

This is what it looks like in South Korea:

A poster in the Gwanghwanmum area of Seoul shows two hands shaking with a translucent Korean Peninsula on top of them and the words, “Peace made by the South and the North, together with the city of Seoul.”

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (65)

The lawn in front of city hall in Seoul was manicured in the shape of the Korean Peninsula.

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (66)

A garden with lawn and flowers creating the shape of the Korean Peninsula in front of Seoul City Hall is seen on April 19.

And the unification flags, the same display that the two Koreas marched under together during the opening ceremony of the Olympics, were lined up along the road leading up to the DMZ.

This is the route Kim Jong Un may take to the DMZ

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (67)

This graphic from the South Korean government shows the route that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un may take to cross into the South Korean side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ).

Here’s what they said will happen:

  • Kim and his wife, Ri Sol Ju, will come down with North Korean delegation through Panmungak. (It’s still undecided if Kim’s wife will join the summit.)
  • President Moon Jae-in, his wife, Kim Jung-sook, and seven delegates, will be waiting in front of the military demarcation line.
  • At 9:30 a.m., Moon and Kim will shake hands.
  • The two leaders, escorted by traditional honor guards, will walk to the official welcoming ceremony venue.

The two leaders will hold talks in the Peace House

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (68)

The Joint Security Area seen from above.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in will hold talks at the Peace House on the southern side of the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that divides the two Koreas.

Here’s what you need to know about the meeting grounds:

  • The DMZ is a 4 kilometer-wide strip of land that runs across the Korean Peninsula. North Korea controls the top half of the strip and South Korea controls the bottom.
  • North and South Korea were divided along the 38th parallel after World War II – a Soviet-administered north and US-administered south – and the border line remains to this day. Neither country technically recognizes the other, as both consider themselves the rightful governments of the entire Korean Peninsula.
  • The Peace House is located in what’s known as either the Truce Village, the Joint Security Area (JSA) or Panmunjom. The Peace House the only part of the DMZ where troops from the two Koreas stand off face-to-face.
  • The military demarcation line (MDL) that divides the northern half of the DMZ from the southern half runs straight through the JSA. In fact, the MDL divides a series of blue buildings used for talks.
  • Kim is crossing the MDL to get to the Peace House, and he will be the first North Korean leader to do so since the Korean War’s end. A group of journalists has even been invited over the line to film the historic occasion. Kim is not technically entering South Korea territory, just the South Korean-controlled part of the contested border.

Here's what we know about the historic summit

North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (69)

From left to right in the first row: North Korea's ceremonial head of state, Kim Yong Nam; Kim Jong Un's sister and the head of the North Korean Propaganda and Agitation Department, Kim Yo Jong; and South Korean President Moon Jae-in watch a performance of North Korea's Samjiyon Orchestra in Seoul, South Korea, in February.

South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet for the first time in more than a decade at the demilitarized zone (DMZ) that divides the two countries.

Twelve months ago, a summit between North and South Korea would’ve been unthinkable.

Here’s why:

  • North Korea test-fired three intercontinental ballistic missiles and their most powerful nuclear weapon to date in 2017. Experts said Kim’s regime was dangerously close to developing the capability to hit the United States with a nuclear weapon, if it didn’t have it already.
  • The international community implemented its toughest ever sanctions on North Korea by the end of 2017.
  • The winds shifted as 2018 opened with Kim’s annual New Year’s speech, in which he wished his southern compatriots good luck in hosting the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
  • Moon took that olive branch and ran with it, inviting North Korea to attend and participate in the Games.

That outreach helped open the diplomatic channels that both sides used to set up today’s summit.

In March, Trump accepted Kim’s invitation for a face-to-face meeting, which is expected to be held in late May or June.

Kim Jong Un leaves Pyongyang for historic summit

From CNN’s Leslie Perrot
North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights | CNN (70)

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has left Pyongyang for the North-South Korea summit, according to the state-run North Korean news agency KCNA.

KCNA reports that Kim left Pyongyang early Friday morning (local time) for the summit.

“The respected Supreme Leader is to cross the demarcation line at Panmunjom at 9 a.m. on Friday (local) to meet and have historical talks with President Moon Jae In,” KCNA reported.

The state media reported that Kim will “open-heartedly discuss” with South Korea’s President Moon Jae-in issues around “improving inter-Korean relations and achieving peace, prosperity and reunification of the Korean peninsula.”

After the summit meeting and talks, KCNA reports, Kim and Moon will plant a “memorial tree” and “make public” the outcome of the “historical Panmunjom talks,” as well as attend a dinner hosted by Moon before Kim returns to Pyongyang.

Mike Pompeo secretly met with Kim Jong Un before summit

Before today’s historic summit, new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo secretly met with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang during the Easter weekend.

Pompeo, who was CIA director at the time, didn’t take any officials from the White House or State Department with him on the trip, only intelligence officials, one source told CNN.

President Trump and Kimare set to meet in late May or early Junein what would be the first face-to-face encounter between a sitting US President and a North Korean leader.

Here are some photos from that meeting:

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