Historic summit between North and South Korea focuses on denuclearization

South Koreans hold up placards of South Korean President Moon Jae-In and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un during a rally welcoming the planned Inter Korean Summit in front of Presidential Blue House on April 26, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea.
Caption
South Koreans hold up placards of South Korean President Moon Jae-In and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un during a rally welcoming the planned Inter Korean Summit in front of Presidential Blue House on April 26, 2018 in Seoul, South Korea.

Credit: Chung Sung-Jun

Credit: Chung Sung-Jun

A historic summit between the leaders of North and South Korea got underway Friday in what could lead to an end to the decadeslong rivalry and years of suspicion and antagonism between the two countries.

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The two nations seemed on the brink of war just a few short months ago, but now in an extraordinary about face, South Korean President Moon Jae-In and North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un are meeting at the Presidential Blue House in the Joint Security Area in the border village of Panmunjom.

It's the first time since the Korean War ended in 1953 that a leader of North Korea has crossed into the southern section of the Demilitarized Zone, news outlets reported.

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Moon, an advocate of peace between the two countries, and Kim, supreme leader of the communist north since 2011, are expected to focus on three main topics --denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, a peace settlement and improved relations, but denuclearization is expected to dominate the discussions, according to The Associated Press.

It’s unclear whether the closed-door meeting between Moon and Kim will lead to any progress in persuading the North Korean dictator to shut down his nuclear weapons program, something that has eluded the South and world leaders for years.

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The summit precedes a meeting between United States President Donald Trump and Kim, which is expected in May or June.

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