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Korea talks may break deadlock but increase pressure on United States president

Otto Warmbier's parents sue North Korea, alleging their son was 'brutally tortured and murdered'

The summit with South Korean President Moon Jae-in will set the stage for Kim to meet with US President Donald Trump in late May or early June, in what will be an unprecedented first encounter between sitting leaders of the two countries. The Demilitarized Zone separating the two Koreas is one of the most heavily fortified borders in the world.

Trump, who often accuses his predecessors of failing to address the North Korean threat, has argued that the only concession he has made was his surprise decision last month to accept Kim's invitation for a meeting - the first ever between the leaders of the United States and North Korea during six decades of hostility.

Trump revealed more information about outgoing CIA Director Mike Pompeo's secret trip to North Korea this month, saying Pompeo wasn't supposed to meet with Kim, but that they ended up talking for more than an hour.

Kim and Mr Moon will water the tree with water brought from the Taedong River in the North and the Han River in the South, Im said.

Moon, a liberal who took office in May past year, and Kim are meeting Friday at a border village. "Peace is as hard if not more hard than denuclearization".

Keeping that in mind, the South Korean president now is hoping to, at least, declare an end to the war with North Korea by pursuing a separate agreement and resetting bilateral relations during the summit. "I never gave up anything", Trump repeated.

Kim and Moon then saluted an honour guard and military band, and Moon introduced Kim to South Korean government officials.

The United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea as a legacy of the Cold War conflict, which pitted the South, the United States and United Nations forces against the communist North, backed by China and Russian Federation.

Reunions of families left divided by the conflict could also be discussed, and Moon has told Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe that he would raise the emotive subject of Japanese citizens kidnapped by the North's agents.

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United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has been extremely supportive of the efforts that are leading up to the summit between the leaders of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) and South Korea, a UN spokesman said on Thursday.

The North has long protested the joint military drills, calling them a rehearsal for invasion, while Seoul and Washington insist they are purely defensive in nature.

Ultimately, the two countries agreed to reduce their over-supply of medium-range and long-range nuclear missiles.

Kim Jong Un is set to cross the military demarcation line between the two Koreas at 9:30a.m. Seoul time (00:30GMT) and will be greeted by President Moon.

The White House said in a statement that it is "hopeful that talks will achieve progress toward a future of peace and prosperity for the entire Korean Peninsula".

After the end of the closed-door first session of talks, Kim and Mr Moon will have lunch separately before holding a tree-planting ceremony in the afternoon.

Kim stopped to sign a guest book in the South's Peace House before the two leaders met for a private discussion. Kim returned the favor with the North Korean officials accompanying him.

Mr Kim will be accompanied by nine officials, including his sister, Kim Yo-jong, who led the North's delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea earlier this year. With continued economic pressure and sustained diplomatic resolve, such a process could eventually bind Kim to a different formula for preserving security, replacing nuclear weapons with diplomatic assurances as the basis for the regime's survival, though this would come at a high cost if it also sacrifices opportunities for North Korea's citizens, who would remain hostages to Kim's rule.

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