Seoul, April 26 (IANS) 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.