South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in North Korea on Tuesday for his third and possibly most challenging summit yet with leader Kim Jong Un in which he hopes to break an impasse in talks with the United States over the North’s denuclearization and breathe energy into his own efforts to expand and improve relations between the Koreas.
In what are by now familiar images of the two Korean leaders hugging and exchanging warm smiles, Kim greeted Moon at Pyongyang’s airport. They have met twice this year at the border village of Panmunjom, but Moon’s visit is the first by a South Korean leader to the North Korean capital in 11 years.
Moon was expected to have talks with Kim on Tuesday and Wednesday, according to Moon’s chief of staff. Moon and Kim were also expected to jointly announce the results of their talks on Wednesday if things go smoothly. Moon is to return to Seoul on Thursday.
Moon and his wife, Kim Jung-sook, were greeted by Kim and his wife, Ri Sol Ju. The North Korean leader then led his guests to meet some of his senior officials, and they exchanged mutual greetings with Moon’s delegation. Thousands of North Koreans cheered and waved flower bouquets and national and unification flags. North Korean soldiers and naval troops quick-marched into position to welcome Moon, and the two leaders inspected the honour guard, according to South Korean media pool footage from the site. A signboard said, “We ardently welcome President Moon Jae-in.”
As Moon arrived, the North’s main newspaper said the United States was responsible for the lack of progress in denuclearization talks. -PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP), 18 September 2018