The leaders of North and South Korea concluded their first round of negotiations by midday on Friday after two hours of small talk, jokes and pledges to work together to bring long-term peace to the peninsula and make the world a safer place.
Kim Jong-un, regarded last year as an international pariah after conducting his sixth nuclear test, promised a “new beginning” and hailed a new era of peace. South Korean President Moon Jae-in urged “bold” decisions that would be a “great gift” to humanity.
When they broke for lunch a few hours later, the South said the two leaders had so far discussed “denuclearisation and a permanent peace” – but there were no further details.
Their historic meeting began at 9.30am local time as Kim emerged from the Panmungak, the North’s symbolic building 80m north of border, with a large entourage including his younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, sweeping down the wide staircase to make his way to the Military Demarcation Line that separates the two countries, where President Moon Jae-in waited to greet him.