Cold Buckwheat Noodles for South's Moon Jae-in

   •    27 April 2018 10:36 WIB
Korea Peace Talk
Cold Buckwheat Noodles for South's Moon Jae-in
The meeting between Kim Jong-un and South Korea's Presiden Moon Jae-in (Photo: AFP).

Panmunjom: The welcoming ceremony at the meeting of South Korea's Moon Jae-in and North's Kim Jong-un, dripped with symbolism as the two men walked down a red carpet through an honour guard of South Korean soldiers colourfully dressed in traditional uniform lifting up banners as they went through.
 
They were also greeted by a military band, Moon saluting and Kim standing rather awkwardly not quite to attention, the first North Korean leader to inspect an honour guard from the South.
 
The pair seemed to share several relaxed moments, with Kim at one point breaking into a laugh as Moon pointed something out with a gesture during the ceremony, and the visitor from Pyongyang joking about noodles during his summit opening remarks as his sister and close adviser Kim Yo Jong took notes.
 
Kim also revealed that he had brought Moon an edible gift from over the border.
 
“I saw earlier that the dinner menu here is a very hot topic,” he said. “I also brought with me cold noodles from Pyongyang so President I hope you can enjoy the Pyongyang noodles.”
 
There were also moments of unexpected comedy as Yo Jong and another delegation member following the two leaders realised they were in shot and wildly swerved off to the side.
 
And the live TV pictures of the two leaders inspecting a picture of Mount Kumgang in North Korea were obstructed by a photographer standing in the way.
 
There was some awkwardness too as Kim took an age to sign the guest book, with Moon standing by seemingly not knowing where to look.
 
But also brief moments of tenderness, with Moon several times gently guiding his guest with a light hand on the back.
 
Their lingering handshake contrasted sharply with the greeting in 2000 between the current leader's father Kim Jong-il and Kim Dae-jung, a vigorous two-handed pumping affair lasting around five seconds.
 
The 2007 version was slightly more muted -- three seconds and only one hand -- as Kim Jong Il welcomed Roh Moo-hyun in Pyongyang.
 
The North has since made rapid progress in its weapons programmes, last year detonating its sixth and by far most powerful nuclear blast and launching missiles bringing the US mainland into range.
 
At times of tension, Pyongyang has threatened to unleash the "treasured sword" of its atomic arsenal and turn Seoul and the US into a "sea of flames".
 
But the image that lingered on Friday was that of the two leaders hand-in-hand, walking across the border to the South toward a summit many hope could lead to a more peaceful future. (AFP)
(FJR)