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IT HAPPENED

Watch the historic moment Kim Jong-un walked into South Korea

Korea Broadcasting System via AP
A touching moment.
  • Isabella Steger
By Isabella Steger

Asia deputy editor

This article is more than 2 years old.

Just months ago, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un was touting his ability to launch a war with the press of a button. Today (April 27), he made history by crossing into South Korea, where he shook hands with an equally smiley president Moon Jae-in as leaders of the two countries met for their first summit in more than a decade.

By stepping over the Military Demarcation Line (MDL) that has divided the Korean peninsula since an armistice was signed to halt the Korean War in 1953, Kim became the first North Korean leader to enter South Korea.

Moon also briefly stepped over the MDL at Kim’s invitation. South Korea’s presidential Blue House said it was an unscripted request (though everything else at the summit was planned down to a tee):

After crossing into South Korea, Kim entered the Peace House in the Demilitarized Zone where the summit is taking place, and signed the guestbook with a message of peace:

In South Korea, Kim was treated to a military honor guard and a fanfare of traditional Korean music. The two leaders also posed for photos with South Korean children.

Reuters TV
Moon Jae-in salutes next to Kim Jong-un during a ceremony at the Korea summit at the truce village of Panmunjom on April 27.
Reuters TV
Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong-un pose for a photo with children at the truce village of Panmunjom.

In South Korea, crowds gathered around the country to witness the historic moment being broadcast live on television.

Reuters/Jorge Silva
People watch a TV showing a live broadcast of the Korea summit at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea.
Reuters/Kim Jong-ji
People wave the Korean unification flag during the summit near the DMZ separating the two Koreas, in Paju, South Korea.
Reuters TV
The two delegations proceeded to kick off their meeting in the Peace House, with Kim, his sister Kim Yo-jong, and foreign minister Ri Yong-ho pictured on the right side, and Moon, South Korea intelligence chief Suh Hoon, and chief of staff Im Jong-seok on the other.

The summit will continue throughout the day, followed by a banquet in the evening where the leaders will dine on food that is laden with symbolism.

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