Leaders of Two Koreas Meet as Summit Starts in DMZ

Kim and Moon hold hands, cross demarcation line

Something truly historic has begun Friday morning in the truce village of Panmunjom, in the Korean demilitarized zone. The leaders of the two Koreas, Kim Jong-un and Moon Jae-in met in the morning to start a much anticipated summit.

The two cordially greeted one another with a handshake and holding hands, Kim led Moon across the demarcation line within the summit building, crossing into North Korea, then returning back to the Southern side for the talks.

Ceremonies and talks are planned throughout the day, with everything planned down to the minute. The visit marks the first time a North Korean leader has ever entered South Korea. Months of feverish diplomatic efforts have brought decades of acrimony to a virtual halt, and made these talks possible.

From talks surrounding the Winter Olympics, a lot has happened. North Korea managed to secure summits with both South Korea and the United States, has hosted a sizeable South Korean delegation in Pyongyang, and made substantial confidence-building measures.

Only so much can be accomplished in a single day, but the possibilities are promising. All signs are that quite a bit can be accomplished, with expectations that the groundwork is being laid for a deal to end the Korean War, which began in 1950. Beyond that, South Korea is also hoping to get the ball rolling on denuclearization, and a deal between the North and the United States.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of Antiwar.com.