Having become the first North Korean dictator to cross into the South for 65 years, Kim Jong-un has now signed the nation’s Peace House guest book, referring to ‘an age of peace’ and noting that ‘new history starts from now’.
WATCH THE VIDEO TO SEE KIM IN THE MEETING
Kim had arrived in South Korea for a historic peace summit at 9.30am local time (12.30am GMT), which was when Moon Jae-in walked to meet him at the military demarcation line to shake hands.
Hands still together, Moon then invited Kim into the South, gesturing him to step over the line – and to sign a guestbook in the Peace House.
According to Reuters, Kim wrote: “A new history starts now. An age of peace, from the starting point of history.”
In televised footage, Kim also said that he was ready for ‘heartfelt, sincere and honest’ discussions with the South Korean leader.
“I feel like I’m firing a flare at the starting line in the moment of [the two Koreas] writing a new history in North-South relations, peace and prosperity,” Kim added.
Moon responded by explaining that their agreement will be groundbreaking not only for North and South Korea, but also across the globe – referring to it as a ‘big gift to the entire Korean nation and every peace loving person in the world’.
At the end of the summit, Kim and Moon are set to sign a pact and make an announcement.
The White House said in a statement that it is ‘hopeful that talks will achieve progress toward a future of peace and prosperity for the entire Korean Peninsula’, adding that it looked forward to continuing discussions in preparation for the planned meeting between US President Donald Trump and Kim Jong Un in the coming weeks.
Adam Mount, senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists, told CNN that, while Moon has laid firm groundwork for a potentially peaceful co-existence with North Korea, it is now up to Pyongyang and Washington to continue the work.
“The success of this summit will not be known today but will depend on the reactions from Washington and Pyongyang over the coming days and weeks. North Korean cheating and US ambivalence has caused the collapse of all previous openings,” he said.
Featured Image Credit: PA