Flags with unified Korea map put up to welcome Kim
As Kim Jong-un made history today by crossing the border to become first North Korea leader to set foot in South Korea, the flags showing a unified map of the two countries could also be seen on the path to the Peace House. The words "One Corea Now" (One Korea Now) are also reportedly written on the flags.
The unification seems highly unlikely as the relations between the two Koreas have remained bitter since the three-year war in the 1950s. Moreover, the politics and forms of government in the two countries are also very different. North Korea has a communist regime while South Korea has a democracy.
The division of Korea between North and South Korea occurred after World War II, ending the Empire of Japan's 35-year rule over Korea in 1945. The United States and the Soviet Union occupied two parts of the country, with the boundary between their zones of control along the 38th parallel. The Americans controlled south of the line - the Russians installed a communist regime in the north, later ceding influence to China.
But events of today are historic in the true sense as efforts are being made from both sides to improve relations. North Korean leader Kin Jong-un arrived for the historic summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in around 9.30 am South Korean local time at the venue in truce village of Punmunjeom.
Kim walked till the demarcation line which divides the two countries and shook hands with Moon who received him. The two then briefly crossed to the north side of the demarcation line for photos before coming back into the southern side of the line. With this, Kim became the first North Korean leader in history to set his foot in the southern territory, something his authoritarian dynastic predecessors did not do.
While the South Korean president was accompanied by Chief Presidential Secretary Im Jong-seok and chief of the National Intelligence Service of South Korea, Suh Hoon, Kim had with him his sister Yo-jong and vice chairman of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea's central committee in charge of inter-Korean affairs, Kim Yong-chol.