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North and South Korean leaders made history today holding first ever summit

SEOUL: Smiling and holding hands, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in met at the heavily fortified demilitarised zone between the countries on Friday in the first summit for the two Koreas in over a decade.

Scenes of Moon and Kim joking and walking together marked a striking contrast to last year’s barrage of North Korean missile tests and its largest ever nuclear test that led to sweeping international sanctions and fears of a fresh conflict on the Korean peninsula.

The dramatic meeting, aimed at ending their decades-long conflict, comes weeks before Kim is due to meet U.S. President Donald Trump to discuss denuclearising the Korean peninsula.

“We are at a starting line today, where a new history of peace, prosperity and inter-Korean relations is being written,” Kim said before the two Korean leaders and top aides began talks at the border truce village of Panmunjom.

During their private meeting, Kim told Moon he came to the summit to end the history of conflict and joked he was sorry for keeping Moon up with his late night missile tests, a South Korean official said.

Kim told Moon he would be willing to visit the presidential Blue House in Seoul, and wanted to meet “more often” in the future, the official said.

AFP adds: A spokesman of South Korean President said the North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the South’s President Moon Jae-in discussed denuclearisation and a permanent peace on the Korean peninsula at their summit Friday.

“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.

The leaders of North and South Korea will be joined by their wives for a banquet today after their historic summit, spokesman for the South’s President Moon Jae-in said.

The presence of the two first ladies, Ri Sol Ju and Kim Jung-sook, had previously been up in the air.

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