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The two leaders shook hands at the military demarcation line that separates the countries since a 1953 armistice put an end to the fighting of the Korean War. South Korean President Moon Jae-In hailed the “historic moment” and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he was “moved” that his counterpart had come all the way up to the border to greet him.
Kim and Moon seemed to communicate with ease as they greeted each other across the demarcation line. North Koreans and South Koreans speak the same language, though there are differences in dialect. According to Voice of America, the biggest divergence is vocabulary: while language in North Korea has reportedly not changed that much over the past half a century, South Korea has added a wealth of new words to the Korean lexicon, many of them related to pop culture or borrowed from English.
After the two leaders exchanged pleasantries, Kim stepped over the border, becoming the first North Korean leader to do so.
Read the full exchange below:
Chairman Kim Jong Un: I’m glad to meet you. I’m so glad.
President Moon Jae-in: Was there any difficulty coming here?
Kim: Not at all.
Moon: It’s a pleasure to meet you.
Kim: Indeed, I’m so filled with excitement because of the meeting at this historic site. And I was moved that you have come all the way to receive me at the Military Demarcation Line at Panmunjom.
Moon: It was your bold and courageous decision that has allowed us to come this far.
Kim: No, no, not at all.
Moon: We have made a historic moment.
Kim: I am pleased to meet you.
Moon: Would you please stand to this side?
Kim Jong Un then stepped across the demarcation line, where the leaders shook hands and and posed for photographers. In an unscripted moment, Kim invited Moon to stand in North Korea. Moon obliged, becoming the first South Korean leader to cross the boundary into the North since then-President Roh Moo-hyun met with Kim Jong Il in 2007.
Moon: You have come to the south side, when will I be able to come to the North?
Kim: Maybe this is the right time for you to enter the North Korean territory.