UPDATE : 2018.11.16 FRI 13:10
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N.K. leader makes historic crossing of inter-Korean border for summit

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un emerged from a veil of secrecy Friday as he made a rare appearance at the tense inter-Korean border for a historic inter-Korean summit.

In a black Mao-style suit, the reclusive state's leader came out of a border liaison office building in the North at the truce village of Panmunjom, flanked by his key aides, according to live TV footage.

Kim walked toward a four-meter-wide pathway between two blue conference buildings -- called T2 and T3 -- straddling the border in the Joint Security Area (JSA) of the truce village.

With a smile on his face, President Moon Jae-in was waiting to greet the young North Korean leader at concrete curbs that serve as the Military Demarcation Line (MDL).

The two leaders had a historic handshake right across the border at around 9:30 a.m. followed by Kim's border crossing amid intense media coverage to capture the historic moment of the two leaders' encounter.

Then, holding hands, the two leaders briefly crossed the border together back to the northern side.

Kim has become the first North Korean leader to set foot on South Korean soil since the end of the 1950-53 Korean War.

Panmunjom, 50 kilometers north of Seoul, has a symbolic meaning as the venue for inter-Korean talks as it is the place where the Armistice Agreement was signed at the end of the war.

The two Koreas remain technically at war as the conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.

Kim Jong-un made his international debut last month when he made a surprise visit to China for a summit with Chinese President Xi Jinping. But his trip was an "unofficial" visit and not broadcast live.

Kim Jung-mi  edt@koreapost.com

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