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Kim Jong Un Crosses DMZ Line For Historic Meeting With South Korean President

In a historic moment, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un crossed the line dividing the demilitarized zone (DMZ) to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in. This is the first time a North Korean leader has crossed the line dividing the two countries since fighting ended in the Korean War, CNN reports.

According to ABC News, the two leaders shook hands at the line dividing the two countries. In a ceremonial move, Moon crossed into the North Korea side of the line, and then Moon and Kim together crossed into South Korea, where they smiled and took pictures. Two children from South Korea presented Kim with flowers.

As Moon and Kim walked together to “Peace House,” where the historic summit will take place, a traditional song known in both the North and South played, CNN reports.

Upon entering “Peace House,” Kim signed the guest book, writing, “a new history begins now” and “an age of peace, at the starting point of history,” CNN reports. The two leaders then proceeded into a private meeting room.

The top items on the agenda for Kim and Moon’s meeting include denuclearization and improving relations and peace between the two Koreas, according to Moon’s administration.

With press in the meeting room, the two leaders gave opening remarks, CNN reports.

According to an official translation from the South Korean government, Moon said: “Spring (is) spreading in South Korea. I believe our encounter is extremely important for all of us. That of course means there is a huge burden on our shoulders Comrade Kim, for the first time in our history you crossed the military demarcation line. It is no longer a symbol of division but a symbol of peace. I would like to pay tribute to the courageous and bold decision made by you, Chairman Kim.”

Kim said: “The expectations are high and we have learned a lesson from previous times and even if we have good agreements and implementations don’t follow they will disappoint people who had high expectations. I hope the 11 years have lost in the past until this time don’t go to waste, and we can meet more often and put our minds together and the 11 years will not be wasted. I hope to write a new chapter between us. I believe that we are able to make a new beginning, and it is with such commitment I come to this meeting.”

According to ABC News, this is the first time that the leaders have met since 2007. This meeting is a part of the recent effort to better relations between the Koreas. The summit has been in the works for some time, as many steps and meetings between high officials for both countries, as well as North Korea’s participation in the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, have prepared for this moment.

This historic meeting comes before the announced meeting between President Donald Trump and Kim, which is set to take place sometime in May or early June, ABC News reports.

Although, on Thursday, Trump did not sound optimistic about this future meeting with Kim and told Fox News’ Fox & Friends, “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?”

Emily has also authored political articles for Restless Magazine and numerous inspirational and empowering pieces for Project Wednesday. When she isn't writing, she can be found flying off to her next adventure, attempting new recipes, listening to one of her infinite playlists on Spotify, or cuddling with her dogs. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter @emilycveith.
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