By Jonathan Cheng and Andrew Jeong
SEOUL — Kim Jong Un became the first North Korean leader to set foot in the South since the Korean War when he stepped across the military demarcation line Friday and shook hands with Moon Jae-in, the South Korean president.
The outcome of their meeting is set to determine the future of relations on the Korean Peninsula and lay the groundwork for Kim’s planned summit with President Donald Trump, which could come within weeks.
In talks at the truce village of Panmunjom that include a dinner banquet, the two Korean leaders were due to discuss improvements in relations, a possible peace agreement and, perhaps most critically, North Korea’s nuclear arsenal. They were expected to release a joint statement later.
Kim, displaying a smile, greeted Moon and coaxed him across the line into the North for a moment, before the two men stepped back together into the South, while holding hands.
Central questions in the talks are what North Korea might demand, and what concessions the South might offer, to sustain the conciliatory climate and further negotiations aimed at persuading the regime to relinquish its nuclear weapons. Kim said last week that he was suspending nuclear and missile tests, but he hinted that he didn’t intend to abandon his nuclear deterrent.
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