The North Korean supreme leader and South Korean President have shaken hands and walked side by side to a ceremonial welcome at Truce Village.

By Joe McDonough

Posted on April 27, 2018

It was good-natured, even friendly.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in met the North Korean leader at the DMZ and shook Kim Jong-un’s hand warmly before the pair strode off along an impressively lengthy red carpet leading to a welcoming ceremony in the southern side of the Truce Village in Panmunjom.

They were regularly seen smiling and chatting as if old acquaintances.

Kim has become the first North Korean leader to cross into the South since the Korean War (1950-53).

Dialogue is set to begin in less than an hour at Peace House, and it is understood the denuclearisation of the North, and peace on the peninsula, will be the two main points of discussion.

The state-run Korean Central News Agency said Kim will “open-heartedly discuss… all the issues arising in improving inter-Korean relations and achieving peace, prosperity and reunification of the Korean peninsula”.

The Korean War has not officially ended, with a truce being declared rather than a peace treaty.

And with tensions bubbling over last year as a result of Kim’s numerous nuclear warheads and missile tests, the Koreas were closer to war than peace.

But progress was made when the two nations agreed to have their Winter Olympic teams march together under the unified Korean flag and even turned out a unified women’s ice hockey team.

Following on from that diplomatic success, Kim met with a South Korean delegation in Pyongyang led by national security advisor Chung Eui-yong, and reports emerged that the Supreme Leader engaged in “frank dialogue” about nuclear disarmament.

He also agreed to a face-to-face with US President Donald Trump. However, that may not happen now that newly elected Secretary of State and then-CIA director Mike Pompeo already secretly met with Kim.