A small, but highly symbolic step toward peace?
That's the hope after U.S. President Trump rewrote the history books on Sunday afternoon by taking an unprecedented step - literally - over the Military Demarcation Line and onto North Korean soil.
The astonishing scenes, that included South Korean leader Moon Jae-in, were followed by what was supposed to be a ten minute greeting, which ended up lasting closer to an hour.
The end result: Trump said he and Kim will relaunch stalled nuclear talks.
Shin Se-min reports.
Presidents Moon Jae-in of South Korea and Donald Trump of the U.S. expressed optimism that a meeting with North Korea's Kim Jong-un at the DMZ Sunday would speed up the denuclearization process.
"As we lay out a path to peace on the Korean Peninsula, my heart is overflowing. Continuous dialogue is the only practical way to reach complete denuclearization."
Speaking shortly after the eighth Moon-Trump summit, President Moon noted that the meeting is the first time the leaders of both Pyeongyang and Washington have ever met at Panmunjom, sitting on the borderline of the divided Koreas.
"What we're doing today is a step and probably it's a step in the right direction. There's a good feeling, so it could be very good. As for as another meeting I think let's see what happens today before we starting thinking about that but it could be very important."
And part of that good feeling, says Trump, is due to a good partnership with President Moon.
According to a readout by South Korea's presidential office, Moon expressed appreciation for the active role of his American counterpart calling him a "peace maker," noting a drastic shift in mood on the Korean Peninsula.
A highly anticipated three-way summit between leaders Moon, Kim and Trump did not happen, as President Moon yielded the spotlight to Kim and Trump and their meeting.
"The focus of dialogue today is North Korea and the U.S. Meeting and talking with North Korea's Kim Jong-un is crucial to carrying on the two sides' discussions."
On denuclearization, South Korean leader said that the dismantlement of the Yongbyon nuclear facility is believed to be the entrance to a "substantive" denuclearization process.
President Trump, too, seemed unchanged on keeping the sanctions in place.
"No rush. Sanctions are still on. I'm never in a rush. If you are in a rush get yourself in trouble. It's a step that may be important or not but probably step in the right direction. Good feeling could be very good."
The trip to the DMZ reaffirmed the strong bilateral cooperation between Seoul and Washington, and imprinted a strong image of the South Korean leader as a mediator in carrying forward the denuclearization process on the Korean Peninsula. And it seems sure to have put some speed on the two-year-old peace drive.
Shin Se-min, Arirang News