I won't interrupt your sleep with missile launches anymore, Kim Jong Un tells Moon Jae In

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North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae In met at the Peace House near the border between the two countries for a groundbreaking summit on Friday (April 27).
South Korean President Moon Jae In shaking hands with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un during their meeting at the Peace House at the truce village of Panmunjom, on April 27, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

GOYANG, SOUTH KOREA - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has told South Korean President Moon Jae In that he would be happy to visit the presidential Blue House "anytime" if invited, and promised that he "will make sure I won't interrupt your morning sleep anymore".

Mr Kim said on Friday (April 27) he was aware that Mr Moon's sleep had been interrupted by the North's missile launches, many of which had occurred in the early morning.

The updates, related to the media by South Korea's senior presidential secretary for public communication Yoon Young Chan, came after Mr Kim and Mr Moon spoke in a first round of summit talks for over 1½ hours on Friday morning.

The two leaders have split up for a separate lunch, but will reconvene for a second round of talks in the afternoon.

In a historic moment at 9.30am local time (8.30am in Singapore), Mr Kim became the first North Korean leader to step foot on South Korean soil by crossing the military demarcation line - the de facto border that separates the two Koreas.

As he shook hands with Mr Kim, Mr Moon said: "Chairman Kim, you have come to the south side, when will I be able to go to the North?"

Mr Kim replied: "Maybe this is the right time for you to enter the North."

The North Korean leader then took Mr Moon's hands, inviting him to step onto North Korean soil.

Mr Yoon told reporters: "This was not planned in advance, and President Moon entered North Korean soil where they took official pictures together."

At the welcoming ceremony, Mr Kim became the first North Korean leader to inspect the South's Guard-of-Honour.

Mr Moon quipped that what was being shown to Mr Kim was the "shorter version, and that if you were ever to come to the (presidential) Blue House you will see a much expanded and better Guard-of-Honour ceremony".

Mr Kim replied: "Wow, if you invite me to the Blue House I am willing to go to the Blue House anytime."

Mr Moon later thanked Mr Kim for taking the initiative towards peace, as Mr Kim quipped: "President Moon, I heard you didn't sleep very well because you had to take part in a National Security Council meeting, and you have habitually been waking up very early... I will make sure I won't interrupt your morning sleep anymore."

In a light-hearted moment during their summit talks, Mr Moon quipped that Mr Kim's sister and close aide Kim Yo Jong has virtually attained "celebrity status" in the South after she attended the Winter Olympic Games in Pyeongchang in February. Ms Kim, who was at the summit, blushed.

The two leaders also discussed how North and South Korea could be better connected via the Korea Train Express (KTX) high-speed rail, with Mr Kim expressing hopes that the North's "transportation systems can be updated so you will have more convenient ways to travel to the North in future".

Mr Kim also expressed his initial concerns about meeting in Panmunjom, and said trust had been built over letters exchanged and talks between officials of the two sides.

"It has taken us over 10 years for me to make that very short walk over to the South, but we have come a long way and with a very strong resolve, if we hold hands together, I'm sure things are going to improve very significantly," he said. "Let's meet more often from now on."

Mr Moon, in turn, said: "The problem on the Korean Peninsula should be attended to by the masters of the problem, which is us Koreans. We will keep pace with the world and through our efforts, take the lead and have neighbouring countries come together with us."

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