North Korea’s Kim Jong Un crosses DMZ line for historic meeting with South Korea
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has crossed the line dividing the demilitarized zone (DMZ) to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in what’s being described as a historic summit.
The two leaders shook hands at the Military Demarcation Line dividing the North from the South, smiling, chatting and posing for photos together. Holding hands, they crossed the line together. Shortly after, two children from South Korea presented Kim with flowers, which the North Korean leader passed to his sister, Kim Yo Jong.
Escorted by traditional music, Moon and Kim walked together to where the opening ceremony is prepared.
It’s the first time leaders of the two countries have met since 2007 and is part of a recent thawing of relations as South Korea and the United States have focused on diplomacy in their efforts to dismantle North Korea’s nuclear weapons program.
The summit has been in the works for some time, with the stage being set by two previous meetings between high-level North and South officials, as well as the North’s participation in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, earlier this year, where the two marched under a united flag.
The meeting is also a precursor to U.S. President Donald Trump’s own announced meeting with Kim, which is expected to take place next month or in early June, though Trump cast doubt on it Thursday.
“It could be that I walk out quickly — with respect, but it could be. It could be that maybe the meeting doesn’t even take place. Who knows?” Trump told Fox News’ “Fox & Friends.”
The U.S. and North Korea have narrowed down the location to five possibilities, according to Trump, with three or four dates in the running. One senior U.S. official previously told ABC News that Trump had ruled out China and that it was highly unlikely Kim would agree to meet in the U.S. or Trump to meet in North Korea.
Possible venues include Europe — like Switzerland, where Kim went to university, or Sweden, the U.S.’s protecting power in North Korea — South Asia, and the DMZ between North and South Korea.
This is a developing story. Please check back for updates.
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