South, North Korea to hold summit

Students hold posters with pictures of South Korea's President Moon Jae-in and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un during a pro-unification rally ahead of the upcoming summit between North and South Korea in Seoul, South Korea April 26, 2018. REUTERS/Jorge Silva

SEOUL – North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is set to cross his country’s heavily militarised border with South Korea on Friday for the first intra-Korea summit in more than a decade, as the old foes seek to end their decades-long conflict and ease tensions over the North’s nuclear weapons program.

The summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in will set the stage for Mr Kim to meet with US President Donald Trump in late May or early June, in what will be an unprecedented first encounter between sitting leaders of the two countries.

Just months ago, Mr Trump and Mr Kim were trading threats and insults as North Korea’s rapid advances in pursuit of nuclear-armed missiles capable of hitting the United States raised fears of a fresh conflict on the Korean peninsula.

North Korea’s official KCNA news agency said Mr Kim had left Pyongyang for the “historical” summit in which he would “open-heartedly discuss with Mr Moon Jae-in all the issues arising in improving inter-Korean relations and achieving peace, prosperity and reunification of the Korean peninsula.”

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