What You Need To Know As North And South Korean Leaders Meet

George Bowden

A smiling Kim Jong-un embraced South Korean president Moon Jae-in upon his arrival in Pyongyang, North Korea, for a third historic summit on Tuesday.

Thousands of North Koreans holding flower bouquets waved national and unification flags and an honour guard quick-marched into tight lines.

Here’s what you need to know as talks get underway.

What’s it all about?

Essentially, the two leaders have stated a desire to make progress in nuclear diplomacy.

Amid the pomp and smiles, Moon will be looking to settle some lofty goals, including resolving a deadlocked nuclear challenge, easing a military standoff and promoting peace on a peninsula many feared was close to war last year.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in, left, and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un ride in a car parade in Pyongyang on Tuesday.

The South Korean leader said ahead of his trip that he will push for “irreversible, permanent peace” and for better dialogue between Pyongyang and Washington during “heart-to-heart” talks with his North Korean counterpart.

Why is this summit different?

Since taking office in May last year, Moon has met Kim twice – at the Koreas’ shared border village of Panmunjom.

Moon’s first Pyongyang trip makes him the third South Korean leader to visit North Korea’s capital for an inter-Korean summit since the peninsula was divided into a Soviet-backed North and US-backed South at the end of the Second World War.

The two countries fought a bloody three-year war five years later after a North Korean sneak attack.

The leaders are both pushing a reluctant Washington to sign off on formally ending the war with a peace treaty.

Moon’s two late liberal predecessors, Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun, went to Pyongyang in 2000 and 2007, respectively, to meet Kim’s dictator father Kim Jong Il.

Those trips produced a slew of inter-Korean rapprochement...

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