Kim to cross border on foot for inter-Korean summit

(160818) -- PYONGYANG, Aug. 18, 2016 (Xinhua) -- Photo provided by Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Aug. 18, 2016 shows top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) Kim Jong Un (C, front) recently providing field guidance to the Taedonggang Pig Farm. The farm is a livestock producing base built in 2011 on the initiative of late leader Kim Jong Il. Kim Jong Un went round various places including the combined control room, breed shed, meet processing shed and organic compound fertilizer shop. He was satisfied that the farm put the pork production on a scientific and intensive basis and established the food production cycle of fruit growing and animal husbandry. He gave an instruction on inviting the officials in the relevant field to visit the farm so that the successes and experience gained by the farm might be widely generalized. (Xinhua/KCNA) ****Authorized by ytfs****

Seoul,   North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will cross the border on foot to attend the historic inter-Korean summit on Friday, the Presidential office said here on Thursday.

Kim will meet South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the military demarcation line (MDL) dividing the two Koreas at 9.30 a.m., Xinhua quoted the Blue House as saying.

Kim will cross the MDL, marked only by a low concrete slab, through a narrow aisle between the blue pavilions sitting in the middle of Panmunjom, a border village straddling the two Koreas.

Later both leaders would be escorted by honour guards towards Peace House, the summit venue on the southern side.

Kim will become the first North Korean leader to step on South Korean soil since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended with an armistice instead of a peace treaty, Efe news reported.

The government in Seoul reported that after a welcoming ceremony and a brief informal talk, the first round of the summit will begin at 10.30 a.m.

Among the nine delegates designated by Pyongyang are the country’s honorary president Kim Yong-nam, Foreign Minister Ri Yong-ho and Kim’s sister Kim Yo-jong, who is director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department of the Workers’ Party of North Korea.

Kim Yo-jong had made a historic visit to the South in February during the Winter Games to facilitate the rapprochement.

After the morning session the two parties will have lunch separately before they plant a tree together in a symbolic ceremony.

The two leaders will then go for a short, informal walk before resuming talks.

At the end of the meeting, Moon and Kim Jong-un will sign an agreement and make an announcement, according to a Seoul spokesperson.

He added that where and how the announcement will be made will be determined by the content of the agreement.

The banquet, in which Seoul hopes that Kim’s wife Ri Sol-ju can attend, will start at 6.30 p.m., followed by a “farewell ceremony” that will conclude the summit, according to the details provided by Moon’s office.