Laughter all around at inter-Korean summit

Северная Корея в повседневных снимках

That was months before the North called a senior North Korean diplomat who defected to the South as "human scum".

Following the largely symbolic move at the border on Friday local time, the USA voiced optimism that progress could be made on Pyongyang giving up its nuclear weapons. "This is more so because it is not something that can be fully completed at the summit between two Koreas", said the chairman of the Inter-Korean Summit Preparation Committee. But inviting Moon on a surprise visit to the North could also hint at a tendency for spontaneity.

"First is a commitment to improve inter-Korean relations". Kim and Moon then saluted an honor guard and military band, and Moon introduced Kim to South Korean government officials.

After the end of the closed-door first session of talks, Kim and Mr Moon will have lunch separately before holding a tree-planting ceremony in the afternoon.

History has shown us that the USA leader shifts positions when it comes to major global issues, climate change and the Iran nuclear deal being most stark cases.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders tweeted out two remarkable photos of Pompeo and Kim, which show the two unsmiling representatives of their country, both in dark suits, firmly gripping the other's hand in an ornate room in an undisclosed part of North Korea.

The closed-door talks are ongoing. Kim Yong-nam, North Korea's nominal head of state, will also attend.

It will also set the stage for the first meeting between a sitting U.S. president and North Korean leader when Donald Trump and Kim meet in May or June.

Advocates of engagement, however, say the only way to get a deal is to do what the Koreas tried Friday: Sit down and see what's possible.

"I suppose I shouldn't say "far" now", he seemed to quickly backtrack.

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Moon seized on the South's Winter Olympics as an opportunity to try to broker dialogue between them.

They then took a photo inside the Peace House, where the summit took place, in front of a painting of South Korea's Bukhan Mountain, which towers over the South Korean Blue House presidential mansion.

The communist leader wrote on the guest visitor book at Peace House: "New history starts now; age of peace, from the starting point of history".

When Kim steps over the line he will become the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the Korean War ended 65 years ago.

The meeting between Kim and Moon is only the third-ever summit between the rivals who remain technically at war.

The apparent warmth between the men was in stark contrast to the tension between the two countries previous year amid North Korean weapons testing.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and the South's President Moon Jae-in have held a historic summit after shaking hands over the Military Demarcation Line that divides their countries, in a gesture laden with symbolism.

"We are hopeful that talks will achieve progress toward a future of peace and prosperity for the entire Korean peninsula", the statement read.

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.

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