Kim Jong Un to meet with SK leader Moon Jae In tonight

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The Financier
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Of significance is that this meeting will mark the first time a North Korean leader will cross the DMZ line into the South Korean side since 1953.

Current live feed of Moon Jae In's motorcade heading to the DMZ: https://www.bbc.co.uk/iplayer/live/bbcnews

KTV News alternative (Korean footage):



It's also widely expected that there progress will be made towards some form of formal peace treaty, which would mark the end of the Korean war (the two states technically remaining at war as the pause in hostilities stems from a ceasefire agreement). Further steps include laying the foundations for the Kim-Trump meeting later on.

South, North Korea to hold first summit in decade at DMZ - Reuters

SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is set to cross his country’s heavily militarised border with South Korea on Friday for the first intra-Korea summit in more than a decade, as the old foes seek to end their decades-long conflict and ease tensions over the North’s nuclear weapons program.

The summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in will set the stage for Kim to meet with U.S. President Donald Trump in late May or early June, in what will be an unprecedented first encounter between sitting leaders of the two countries.

Just months ago, Trump and Kim were trading threats and insults as North Korea’s rapid advances in pursuit of nuclear-armed missiles capable of hitting the United States raised fears of a fresh conflict on the Korean peninsula.

South Korea’s Moon will greet Kim at the military demarcation line at 9:30 a.m. (0030 GMT), making Kim the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the 1950-53 Korean War.

The two will be escorted by South Korean honor guards to an official welcoming ceremony before beginning official dialogue at 10:30 a.m. (0130 GMT) at Peace House, a South Korean building inside the border truce village of Panmunjom.

North Korea’s official KCNA news agency said Kim had left Pyongyang for the “historical” summit in which he would “open-heartedly discuss with Moon Jae-in all the issues arising in improving inter-Korean relations and achieving peace, prosperity and reunification of the Korean peninsula.”

In a dramatic gesture just days before the summit, Kim said North Korea would suspend nuclear and long-range missile tests and dismantle its only known nuclear test site.

But scepticism is rampant about whether Kim is ready to abandon the hard-earned nuclear arsenal his country has defended and developed for decades as what it says is a necessary deterrent against U.S. invasion.

South Korea hopes North Korea’s leader on Friday will directly confirm his will for “complete” denuclearisation of the peninsula.

The two neighbors expect to release a joint statement late on Friday - possibly called the Panmunjom Declaration - that could address denuclearisation and peace, and an improvement in relations, South Korean officials said.

KCNA said that Kim would plant a memorial tree with Moon.

Korea: a land divided: tmsnrt.rs/2KdXMcS

UNENDING HOSTILITIES

Impoverished North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because the Korean War ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea as a legacy of the Cold War conflict, which pitted the South, the United States and United Nations forces against the communist North, backed by China and Russia.

On Thursday, Trump said he was considering three or four dates as well as five locations for his meeting with Kim Jong Un, although once again he added that it remained unclear whether the meeting will occur.

Trump has said he expects to meet with Kim in May or June, but he has warned several times that the meeting could be called off if he did not think it could deliver the desired results.

“It could be that I walk out quickly - with respect - but ... it could be that maybe the meeting doesn’t even take place,” he told Fox News by telephone. “Who knows. But I can tell you right now they want to meet.”

The White House later released two photographs of then Secretary of State-designate and CIA chief Mike Pompeo’s meeting with Kim in North Korea over the Easter weekend to discuss the planned summit. It was Kim’s first known meeting with a U.S. official.

The photos show Kim and Pompeo, who was confirmed as secretary of state on Thursday, shaking hands. In one they faced each other looking serious; in the other they both appeared to wear faint smiles. bit.ly/2KfRHN3

Friday’s inter-Korean summit will be the third ever after two former South Korean leaders, Kim Dae-jung in 2000 and Roh Moo-hyun in 2007, met with Kim Jong Un’s late father and predecessor, Kim Jong Il, in Pyongyang.

The latest summit has particular significance not least because of its venue: the Demilitarised Zone, a 160-mile (260-km) long, 2.5-mile (4-km) wide strip of land created in the 1953 armistice to serve as a buffer between the South and North.

With heavily armed soldiers and propaganda broadcasts blasted over loudspeakers from both sides, the DMZ has long been a symbol of hostilities on the divided peninsula.

South Korea switched off its propaganda broadcasts on Monday to set a positive tone ahead of the summit, and South Korean residents living near the border said the North Korean broadcasts had also appeared to stop on Tuesday.

South and North Korea are in discussions about a peace agreement that could officially end the state of war, an effort Trump said has his “blessing” if Pyongyang agreed to give up its nuclear arsenal.

For the first time, key moments such as Kim crossing the border into the South, the two leaders shaking hands and walking to the Peace House for their talks, will be broadcast live.

The summit includes a dinner where Swiss fried potato rosti, as well as chocolates, macarons and gruyere cheese cakes will be served as a homage to Kim’s childhood spent in Switzerland.

PRELUDE TO TRUMP SUMMIT

Moon, who took office in May pledging to restore ties with the North and who has tirelessly called for dialogue, helped steer Kim and Trump toward meeting, a major coup for the liberal president.

After dozens of missile launches last year, Kim embarked on a diplomatic offensive at the beginning of the year. Kim sent a delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea in February before Trump stunned the world by agreeing to meet Kim to discuss “denuclearisation” of the Korean peninsula.

Now comes the hard part.

The history of failed nuclear negotiations with Pyongyang has made many U.S. officials skeptical of Kim’s true intentions and suspicious of his recent overtures as more of a bid to win relief from wide-ranging U.N. sanctions and to divide Washington and its allies.

There is also concern that North Korea could insist on taking incremental steps in return for simultaneous incentives from Washington, the kind of a phased approach that U.S. officials have rejected.

Unlike two previous inter-Korean summits, joint economic projects are not expected to be discussed, South Korean officials said. U.N. sanctions imposed since North Korea’s first nuclear test in 2006 and expanded over the past decade deny North Korea a considerable amount of international trade.
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mojosodope
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Damn, NKs finances must be running very low.
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The Financier
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Obligatory historic moment photo

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Ban Enquiry
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(Original post by TeeEff)
Obligatory historic moment photo

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Love it. They are the same nation divided for the past 70 years..
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The Financier
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(Original post by Ban Enquiry)
Love it. They are the same nation divided for the past 70 years..
I'm sceptical with regards to the long term results of both this meeting and any cooling in the conflict between the Koreas, but it's undeniably a sight I don't think many would have foreseen at the start of the year, let alone a couple of years ago.
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mojosodope
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(Original post by TeeEff)
I'm sceptical with regards to the long term results of both this meeting and any cooling in the conflict between the Koreas, but it's undeniably a sight I don't think many would have foreseen at the start of the year, let alone a couple of years ago.
Honestly, I dont think you should be. This is unprecedented. Kim knows that hes lost the economic war, his country is crippling. He can look at a country like Brunei and see, actually, he can embrace westernisation AND rule.

His initial fears is regime change but the west is now very anti imperialist and unlikely to attack NK.

OF course, some scepticism is valid
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04MR17
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(Original post by TeeEff)
I'm sceptical with regards to the long term results of both this meeting and any cooling in the conflict between the Koreas, but it's undeniably a sight I don't think many would have foreseen at the start of the year, let alone a couple of years ago.
I disagree. I think in x years when the Korean peninsula finally unites historians will see this as one of the biggest turning points. I may sound utopian but I'm confident it'll happen. Won't be quick or easy but they'll get there.
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James.Carnell
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(Original post by 04MR17)
I disagree. I think in x years when the Korean peninsula finally unites historians will see this as one of the biggest turning points. I may sound utopian but I'm confident it'll happen. Won't be quick or easy but they'll get there.
Crucially if North and South relations improve and the North become stronger economically in the coming years, then the North and South may naturally agree to have nuclear weapons as a unified country that does not rely on any other country for protection.
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Napp
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In a purely symbolic sense this may well be huge. On a practical level not so much.
I remain ever dubious that this so called reconciliation, of sorts, is anything but a PR ploy by the North and idiocy on the part of Trump.
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MrDystopia
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(Original post by 04MR17)
I disagree. I think in x years when the Korean peninsula finally unites historians will see this as one of the biggest turning points. I may sound utopian but I'm confident it'll happen. Won't be quick or easy but they'll get there.
(Original post by mojosodope)
Honestly, I dont think you should be. This is unprecedented. Kim knows that hes lost the economic war, his country is crippling. He can look at a country like Brunei and see, actually, he can embrace westernisation AND rule.

His initial fears is regime change but the west is now very anti imperialist and unlikely to attack NK.

OF course, some scepticism is valid
Scepticism is healthy when it comes to N Korea. We have been here before (albeit, not to this degree). People seem quick to forget (or are just unaware completely) that in 2007 for example, both North and South signed an agreement to discuss a permanent peace treaty. People lauded that as being on the verge of peace and I'm sure we don't need reminding of what happened for the next decade thereafter.

Granted this step is historic, but I think people who are jumping on this so readily with the whole 'omg we've made it peace is around the corner' aren't giving this the caution it deserves. As recent as four months ago North Korea were still testing missiles after all.
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Stalin
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(Original post by James.Carnell)
Crucially if North and South relations improve and the North become stronger economically in the coming years, then the North and South may naturally agree to have nuclear weapons as a unified country that does not rely on any other country for protection.
China, Russia and the U.S. would never allow a united, non-aligned, Korea to develop and acquire nuclear weapons.
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Ninja Squirrel
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Good guy Kimmy? Image

This is nice to see though, I'd love to see north and south korea mend relations.

Please don't screw it up Trump 🙏
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James.Carnell
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(Original post by Stalin)
China, Russia and the U.S. would never allow a united, non-aligned, Korea to develop and acquire nuclear weapons.
Then maybe if the north are liberated kim would become the good guy? 🤔
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Stalin
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(Original post by James.Carnell)
Then maybe if the north are liberated kim would become the good guy? 🤔
If Korean unification ever occurs in the 21st century it will be because China - and to a lesser extent Russia - allows it; and there will be at least two concrete conditions: no nukes and no foreign troops/bases/missile defence systems on the unified peninsula.
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(Original post by Stalin)
If Korean unification ever occurs in the 21st century it will be because China - and to a lesser extent Russia - allows it; and there will be at least two concrete conditions: no nukes and no foreign troops/bases/missile defence systems on the unified peninsula.
I don't know why they cannot just form a non western nato.
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Incredible development.
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The Financier
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North Korea have now pulled out of the follow-up summit with South Korea that was scheduled for tommorow, due to ongoing military exercises by the US and South Korea. It's early stages of course but there's also doubt around the summit with the US in Singapore now.

(LEAD) N. Korea cancels high-level talks with S. Korea over military drill - Yonhap News

(ATTN: UPDATES with details from 3rd para)

SEOUL, May 16 (Yonhap) -- North Korea said Wednesday it is canceling high-level talks with South Korea planned for later in the day due to ongoing military exercises between the South and the United States.

The North's Korean Central News Agency said the Max Thunder drills between the South Korean and U.S. air forces are a rehearsal for invasion of the North and a provocation amid warming inter-Korean ties.

It also called into question whether next month's summit between North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and U.S. President Donald Trump can go ahead as planned.

"This exercise targeting us, which is being carried out across South Korea, is a flagrant challenge to the Panmunjom Declaration and an intentional military provocation running counter to the positive political development on the Korean Peninsula," the KCNA report said. "The United States will also have to undertake careful deliberations about the fate of the planned North Korea-U.S. summit in light of this provocative military ruckus jointly conducted with the South Korean authorities."

The two-week exercise kicked off Friday, involving some 100 warplanes, including eight F-22 radar-evading fighters and an unspecified number of B-52 bombers and F-15K jets.

The high-level talks were meant to take place on the southern side of the truce village of Panmunjom to discuss follow-up measures to the two Korean leaders' summit last month.

The summit agreement, billed the Panmunjom Declaration, called for formally ending the 1950-53 Korean War within the year and pursuing "complete denuclearization" of the Korean Peninsula.
(END)
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