South Korean President Moon Jae-in arrived in Pyongyang on Tuesday for a much-anticipated meeting with Kim Jong Un, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the third inter-Korean summit this year.
South Koreans wave their national flags during a rally to wish for the successful inter-Korean summit near the presidential Blue House in Seoul, Tuesday, Sept. 18, 2018.
Following the summit, President Moon and the South Korean delegation will watch a performance of the Samjyun Orchestra at the Pyongyang Grand Theater, located on the Daedong River in Pyongyang.
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Im said the two leaders were scheduled to continue talks Wednesday, and that a joint announcement on the meetings might take place in the late afternoon.
Moon may face increasing difficulties if his summit with Kim in Pyongyang fails to make tangible progress on efforts to get North Korea to scrap its nuclear weapons program.
"We will push for North Korea's advanced denuclearisation and a reciprocal measure from the USA by swiftly reviving honest dialogue aimed at establishing new, peaceful relations", Moon's chief of staff Im Jong-seok said.
Kim and Moon met in the truce village of Panmunjom on the border on April 27 and May 26, respectively.
The North Korean leader then led his guests to meet some of his senior officials, and they exchanged mutual greetings.
Thousands of residents, holding bouquets and chanting in unison "Reunification of the country!" lined the streets as Kim and Moon rode through the city in an open-topped vehicle, passing the Kumsusan Palace where Kim's predecessors - his father and grandfather - lie in state. -North Korea talks on denuclearization.More news: Australia strawberry needles scare widens as federal probe is launched
The plane carrying Mr Moon left Seoul on Tuesday morning and flew in an indirect route off the west coast of the peninsula before turning inland and arriving at Pyongyang's Sunan International Airport about 80 minutes later, Mr Moon's office said.
Talks between the United States and North Korea, which Moon brokered through his April and May summits with Kim, have stalled since Kim's meeting with President Donald Trump in Singapore in June.
Traveling on Moon's government jet was Samsung scion Lee Jae-yong and other business leaders, underscoring Moon's hopes to expand cross-border business projects.
On Wednesday, Moon and Kim plan to hold a second round of officials talks after which they are expected to unveil a joint statement, and a separate military pact created to defuse tensions and prevent armed clashes.
North Korea's state-run media reported early Tuesday that Moon was to begin a visit, but said little else.
The US is pressing for the North's "final, fully verified denuclearization", while Pyongyang wants a formal declaration that the 1950-53 Korean War is over and has condemned "gangster-like" demands for it to give up its weapons unilaterally.
The United States is pressing other countries to strictly observe U.N. sanctions aimed at choking off funding for Pyongyang's nuclear and ballistic missile programmes.
"Second is facilitating North-US talks for denuclearization".
With Seoul and Washington moving at increasingly different speeds in their approaches to Pyongyang, Kim will look to secure more Southern-funded projects in the North. Moon hasn't been able to revive them because of US -led economic sanctions on North Korea.
But U.S. officials remain "unenthusiastic" about declaring an end to the war without any substantial action toward denuclearisation from the North, Seoul officials said.