North Korean leader Kim Jong Un greeted South Korean President Moon Jae-in on his arrival in Pyongyang Tuesday for their third summit this year, as the two countries look to establish peace on the Korean Peninsula.

The two leaders smiled and hugged at the foot of Moon’s plane at Sunan International Airport, amid crowds of cheering North Koreans waving flowers & national flags, including those symbolizing a unified Korean Peninsula.

Moon & Kim & their wives then shook hands with various officials, before reviewing a North Korean ceremonial guard. The highly choreographed scene, set to lớn military music, lasted around 15 minutes.

It was the first time Kim had greeted visitors at the airport since the young North Korean leader took power in 2011, according lớn South Korean officials.


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South Korean President Moon Jae-in, second from left, và his wife Kim Jung-sook, left, are greeted by Kim Jong Un và his wife, Ri Sol Ju.

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AP
Later in the day, the two rode in an open-topped oto through the streets of Pyongyang, waving lớn thousands of onlookers who had lined the streets.

The historic three-day-trip marks the first time since 2007 that a South Korean president has traveled North. The two leaders will discuss a host of likely issues, including economic cooperation, North Korea’s nuclear weapons program and formally ending the Korean War.

“What I want lớn achieve is peace. Not a tentative change which could be volatile dependent on international situation, but irreversible, permanent & unwavering peace, regardless of what might happen on the global arena,” Moon said on Twitter ahead of his departure.


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Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un hug as their wives shake hands.

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Moon & Kim vowed to bring an end to the Korean War during their first summit meeting. Though fighting ended 65 years ago, the war has never been formally ended with a peace treaty.

While a formal peace regime officially ending the Korean War would need buy in from the US and china – the other participants in the conflict – experts agree that there is nothing lớn stop the two Koreas declaring an kết thúc to the war themselves, or signing a bilateral peace treaty.


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Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool/Getty Images
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un và his wife Ri Sol Ju pose with South Korean President Moon Jae-in & his wife Kim Jung-sook on the đứng top of Mount Paektu in North Korea on Thursday, September 20.
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Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
Pyeongyang Press Corps/Pool/Getty Images
Moon Jae-in collects water from Heaven Lake at the bottom of Mount Paektu.
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Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
PYONGYANG PRESS CORPS/POOL/EFE
Moon Jae-in and Kim Jong Un after a signing ceremony in Pyongyang, North Korea, Wednesday, September 19, 2018.
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
Pyeongyang Press Corps/Getty Images
Moon & Kim teased a potential historic fourth meeting between the two leaders, this time in the South Korean capital. The signed agreement stated that Kim would travel lớn Seoul "as soon as possible," something no North Korean leader has ever done.
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
Pool/Getty Images
North Korea said it would close a key missile chạy thử facility in the presence of "international experts" & potentially destroy its primary nuclear complex if the United States agrees to lớn corresponding measures, South Korean President Moon Jae-in announced in a joint press conference with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un Wednesday.
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
Pyeongyang Press Corps/Getty Images
"The era of no war has started," said Moon, the first South Korean president to lớn visit Pyongyang since 2007. "Today the North and South decided lớn remove all threats that can cause war from the entire Korean peninsula."
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
Pyeongyang Press Corp/Getty Images
South Korean Defense Minister tuy nhiên Young-moo, second from left, and his North Korean counterpart No Kwang Chol sign a military agreement, vowing khổng lồ "cease all hostile acts against each other."
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
HANDOUT/REUTERS
South Korean President Moon Jae-in & North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attend a luncheon.
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
Pyeongyang Press Corps/Getty Images
South Korean President Moon Jae-in và North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ride in a parade in Pyongyang, North Korea, on Tuesday, September 18.
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
Pyongyang Press Corps Pool via AP
The two leaders greet each other before their summit at the headquarters of the Central Committee of the Workers" các buổi party in Pyongyang on September 18.
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
Pyongyang Press Corps Pool via AP
Kim và his wife, Ri Sol Ju, second from left, escort the South Korean leader & his wife, Kim Jung-sook, second from right, at the Paekwawon Guesthouse in Pyongyang on September 18.
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
Pyeongyang Press Corps/Getty Images
North Koreans wave bouquets & flags as they watch the two leaders" parade in Pyongyang on September 18.
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
Pyeongyang Press Corps/Getty Images
Kim meets Moon at the airport in Pyongyang on September 18.
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
Pyeongyang Press Corps/Getty Images
This week"s meeting marks the first time in more than a decade that a South Korean president has visited the North.
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
KIM HONG-JI/REUTERS
South Koreans watch a televised broadcast of the summit from Seoul on September 18.
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
Pyeongyang Press Corps/Getty Images
North Koreans welcome Moon at the airport in Pyongyang on September 18.
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
Pyeongyang Press Corps/Getty Images
Kim & his wife greet Moon và the South Korean first lady upon their arrival in Pyongyang on September 18. On the the three-day visit, Moon is bringing an entourage that includes K-pop stars và business leaders such as Jay Y. Lee, the head of Samsung.
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images
People watch live footage from the summit at a railway station in Seoul on September 18.
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
Pyeongyang Press Corps/Getty Images
North Korean honor guards march during a welcoming ceremony for Moon in Pyongyang on September 18.
Photos: In pictures: Korean leaders meet in Pyongyang
Ryu Seung-Il/Newscom/ZUMAPRESS.com
Seoul Military Air Base staff members wave as the South Korean President departs for Pyongyang on September 18.
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US remains wary

Moon arrived in North Korea with an entourage that includes K-pop stars và nearly a dozen business leaders, including Jay Y. Lee, the head of Samsung.

Though Pyongyang will likely relish the opportunity lớn court South Korean investors, ongoing nuclear talks between North Korea and the United States are also expected to feature prominently on the agenda.

The third meeting comes as the diplomatic efforts to lớn get North Korea khổng lồ give up its nuclear weapons và ballistic missiles appear khổng lồ have hit an impasse. It’s been three months since US President Donald Trump met Kim in Singapore – the first-ever summit between the sitting leaders of their two countries – but there have been no visible steps made by North Korea lớn suggest it has stopped the development of its nuclear arsenal.


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Trump and Kim Jong Un's ups và downs
The United Nations’ head of political affairs, Rosemary di Carlo, said Monday there are signs North Korea is “still maintaining and developing its nuclear weapons & ballistic missile programs.”

Trump’s national security adviser, John Bolton, delivered a similar assessment last month when he said the Trump administration does not feel North Korea was living up khổng lồ its kết thúc of the agreement reached between Trump and Kim in Singapore, a page-and-a-half document that critics assailed as too short on specifics.


The problem, analysts say, is that North Korea will likely never give up its nuclear weapons unless it has a peaceful và productive relationship with the United States.

Washington is likely only willing lớn fundamentally change its relationship with Pyongyang if Kim were to lớn give up his nuclear weapons & the ballistic missiles he needs khổng lồ deliver them.

“I am willing khổng lồ talk candidly with Chairman Kim Jong Un lớn find a balance between the US’ demands for denuclearization & North Korea’s request for dropping hostile policies & enforcing measures to secure their safety,” Moon said Monday.

“I believe that the denuclearization issue can be progressed at a rapid pace if the two leaders face each other again and talk.”


South Korean President Moon Jae-in, center left, waves as North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center right, applauds upon Moon"s arrival at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang Tuesday.
AP
Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have preached patience in recent weeks, with Pompeo telling reporters Friday that the US will continue lớn use a strategy that involves negotiation while also enforcing the stringent sanctions levied on Pyongyang by the United States and the United Nations.

“The United States is as committed as ever to lớn continuing lớn enforce those UN Security Council resolutions,” Pompeo said.

“We believe they are central lớn President Trump’s efforts to lớn convince Chairman Kim that full, final denuclearization of the Korean Peninsula is necessary.”


Kim Jong Un và Donald Trump shake hands during their summit in Singapore on June 12.
Kevin Lim/The Strait Times/Handout/Getty Images

Rolling out the red carpet

If history is any precedent, North Korea will continue khổng lồ pull out all the stops for Moon and his entourage.

The previous two South Korean Presidents who visited North Korea, President Roh Moo-hyun in 2007 và President Kim Dae-jung in 2000, were both given a hero’s welcome.

Kim, the first South Korean leader ever lớn travel North, won a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts, but his legacy was tainted after it was revealed that South Korea secretly funneled nearly $200 million dollars khổng lồ the the North Koreans through the Hyundai corporation just days before the talks.


Kim Jong Un và Moon Jae-in, top; Kim Dae-jung & Kim Jong Il, bottom left; và Kim Jong Il and Roh Moo-hyun, bottom right.
Getty Images
like Kim and Roh before him, Moon was also greeted on arrival in Pyongyang by scores of cheering civilians, many in colorful traditional dress. Moon’s office said he will also stay at the same venue where Kim Jong Il, the late North Korean leader, hosted Kim Dae-jung và Roh, the Paekhwawon State Guesthouse.

Photos of the luxury property emerged in June after Kim Jong Un hosted Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov there. The guesthouse was surrounded by well manicured grass and colorful flowers – “Paekhwawon” means “garden of a hundred flowers.”

But beyond the pomp & circumstances, it’s unclear if this summit will kết thúc in any sort of formal agreement. Moon’s office insists that its important for the two Korean leaders lớn continue meeting on a regular basis in order khổng lồ work toward peace.

“We don’t mean to add another declaration or another agreement,” Yoon Young-chan, a spokesman for Moon, said Tuesday. “We’re moving towards a new era.”


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