North and South Korean leaders hold historic summit: Highlights

By Joshua Berlinger, Nick Thompson and Euan McKirdy, CNN

Updated 4:23 PM ET, Tue June 5, 2018
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9:10 p.m. ET, April 26, 2018

The two leaders retreated to a meeting room

The pomp and circumstances of the initial encounter has concluded. Kim, Moon and their delegations are now retreating to the meeting room for a quick chat before serious talks get underway.

The talks are taking place at the Peace House, located in what's known as either the Truce Village, the Joint Security Area (JSA) or Panmunjom. The Peace House is in the only part of the DMZ where troops from the two Koreas stand off face-to-face.

12:00 a.m. ET, April 27, 2018

Kim signs guest book at Peace House

Kim Jong Un has entered the Peace House on the southern side of the demilitarized zone, where the summit meetings will take place, and signed the guestbook.

9:52 p.m. ET, April 26, 2018

Kim and Moon posed with children for a photograph after greeting and shaking hands

After crossing into the southern side, Kim and Moon were photographed with two children from Daeseong-dong, the South Korean village inside the DMZ. They smiled and posed with the leaders at the start of the welcoming ceremony.

9:57 p.m. ET, April 26, 2018

Kim and Moon shake hands on both sides of demarcation line

Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-in first shook hands as each stood on either side of the military demarcation line that divides the two.

In a symbolic move, Moon then joined Kim on the northern side of the line before both leaders stepped over to the southern side, where Friday's summit will take place.

They then took in a performance of arirang, a traditional Korean folk song known in the North and the South.

Kim did not appear to look at the South Korean military guards, instead staring straight ahead.

9:58 p.m. ET, April 26, 2018

The historic Korean summit begins

Kim Jong Un has become first North Korean leader to cross the line dividing the two Koreas since fighting ended in the Korean War.

Watch the historic moment:

8:24 p.m. ET, April 26, 2018

North Korea's human rights situation is not expected to be a major topic of discussion

Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

The top items on the agenda for the summit are denuclearization, the establishment of peace and advancement of inter-Korean relations, according to President Moon Jae-in's administration.

Human rights, however, hasn't appeared to break through as a key topic, much to the dismay of advocates and North Korean defectors.

“This summit is a crucial moment for inter-Korean relations and particularly for the long-suffering people of North Korea,” said Brad Adams, the Asia director for Human Rights.

He continued: “The goal should be to find real, long-term solutions to the security challenges on the peninsula, while taking steps to improve the dire human rights situation in North Korea.”

Here's what we know about North Korea's human right's situation:

  • Pyongyang is believed to operate a series of gulag-like prison camps throughout the country, which the United Nations estimates holds about 120,000 men, women and children. North Korea officially denies that the camps exist, but multiple human rights groups have documented their ongoing operation via survivor testimony and satellite imagery.
  • Political dissent is nonexistent and has been punished by death. There have been reports of North Koreans being punished for not properly cleaning the photographs of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il they're required to have in their homes.
  • Entire families are purportedly punished when an individual gets in trouble with North Korean authorities.
  • North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, for his part, had his own uncle executed after he was accused of treason. His half-brother, Kim Jong Nam, was killed in an airport in the Malaysian capital of Kuala Lumpur after being exposed to a deadly nerve agent. Authorities in Malaysia, South Korea and the US have all pinned the crime on the North Korean regime, which has denied any involvement.

8:17 p.m. ET, April 26, 2018

These women marched near the DMZ to call for peace

From CNN's Sophie Jeong near the DMZ

Marchers gathered in Paju, not far from the demilitarized zone (DMZ), a day before the summit to call for peace.

More than 500 women from the International Women's Peace Group chanted, "We are one."

8:23 p.m. ET, April 26, 2018

Moon is getting ready

President Moon Jae-in has exited his motorcade and is getting ready for the summit. We're fewer than 20 minutes away from the expected handshake.

8:08 p.m. ET, April 26, 2018

This isn't the first time a South Korean leader has met his counterpart

President Moon Jae-in won't be the first South Korean leader to meet his North Korean counterpart.

The late South Korean Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun each traveled to Pyongyang for inter-Korean summits in 2000 and 2007, respectively.

Both walked away with a handful of agreements, but the good will didn't last.

Still, experts say there are important lessons Moon and his administration can take from his predecessors' successes and failures.

Here's what happened in past summits: