The world will watch with bated breath as the top leaders of the North and South Korea - the two neighbours on either side of the 38th Parallel who are still technically at war - will meet each other in the South Korean territory of the border town of Panmunjeom on Friday, April 27.
This is only third time and over a decade that the heads of government of the two Koreas are meeting each other. This meeting is of immense significance in the context of North Korea's denuclearisation which has made the Korean Peninsula one of the most volatile regions in the current times.
Here are some facts about the Inter-Korean Summit of April 27, 2018:
- The two leaders, North Korea's Kim Jong-un and South Korea's Moon Jae-in, will meet at 9.30 am Korean time which is 6 am IST on Friday, April 27, and gradually progress towards the summit, the path of which has been cleared by several diplomatic parleys. The venue of the summit, Peace House in Panmunjeom, has been renovated to "symbolise reconciliation", the Korea Times reported.
- Kim will be accompanied by nine key aides during the summit.
- Security has been tightened at the border on Thursday, on the eve of the historic summit.
- The issues that will be raised during the talks between Kim and Moon, who has been praised for his tireless efforts to make this summit as well as the upcoming one between Kim and US President Donald Trump possible, will speak on nuclear weapons, peace and better relations.
- The occasion will also feature welcoming event and dinner, said Korea Herald. Moon will receive Kim as the latter crosses the Military Demarcation Line to arrive at the venue of the summit.
- The two leaders will then attend the welcoming ceremony from about 9:40 a.m.
- The opening ceremony will include a review of South Korea's Honour Guard and it was said that the decision to include the review was made as a reciprocating gesture to the similar ceremony that North Korea had included during the visits of past South Korean presidents to the North in the 2000s.
- The actual summit is scheduled to start at 10.30 am (7 am IST) at the Peace House, Panmunjeom.
- The talks will pause for launch and resume in the afternoon. The two leaders will participate in a tree-planting ceremony. A pine tree will be planted on the Military Demarcation Line to symbolise peace and prosperity between Seoul and Pyongyang.
- The tree is said to have germinated in 1953, the year the Korean War stopped after signing of an armistice, and will be planted using soil brought from Hallasan on Jeju Island (South Korea) and Baekdusan (North Korea), Korea Herald reported further.
- The talks will restart after the ceremony gets over and at the end of the historic summit, the two leaders will approve a joint agreement. A welcome dinner is also scheduled to be held at the venue of the summit.