South Korea president leaves for North Korea

South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un right wave during a welcoming ceremony at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang in North Korea Tuesday Sept. 18 2018

Moon and his wife, Kim Jung-sook, were greeted by Kim and his wife, Ri Sol-ju at Pyongyang's airport on Tuesday.

In his second meeting the following month, Moon met Kim to sustain momentum for North Korea's first-ever summit with the US.

Kim welcomed his visitor at Pyongyang's global airport - where he had supervised missile launches a year ago as tensions mounted - the two leaders of the divided Korean Peninsula embracing after Moon walked down the steps of his aircraft.

About 150 South Korean government officials, leaders in business and entertainment went to Pyongyang before Moon to prepare for the summit.

As Moon arrived, the North's main newspaper said the United States was responsible for the lack of progress in denuclearization talks.

This will be the fifth inter-Korean summit in the history of two Koreas and the third one this year.

Meanwhile, the United States and Russian Federation clashed Monday over enforcing U.N. sanctions against North Korea, with the USA ambassador accusing Moscow of "cheating" and Russia's envoy accusing Washington of "political ill-intent".

The two leaders flashed wide smiles and embraced one another as the crowds of North Korean citizens waved flowers, the North Korean flag, and the unification flag, which depicts the Korean Peninsula as one.

More ambitious is Moon's attempt to unlock an impasse between Pyongyang and Washington over who should make the next move in their dialogue over peace and denuclearization.

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The South's president is also scheduled to attend a concert and visit key sites in the North's capital with his delegation, which includes tycoons Lee Jae-yong - the heir to the Samsung group - and the vice chairman of Hyundai Motor.

"This third summit should be about, among other things, finding out how to adjust the existing framework of negotiations in order to set the groundwork for a second Kim-Trump summit", said Ken Gause, director of the International Affairs Group at CNA, a Virginia-based research group.

In the war, US-led multilateral forces fought alongside South Korea against the North, which was supported by China and the Soviet Union. He will fly back to Seoul on Thursday morning. Currently, all major joint projects between the Koreas are stalled because of US -led sanctions.

Moon said Monday that he intends to push for "irreversible, permanent peace" with North Korea during "heart-to-heart talks" with Kim at the summit, the Associated Press reports.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un said he wanted to produce a "big outcome" as he began three days of summit talks on Tuesday with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in aimed at rekindling stalled nuclear diplomacy. Moon's approval rating stood at 83 percent after his first summit with Kim in April. Thousands more people, holding bouquets and chanting in unison "Reunification of the country!", lined the streets of the city as Kim and Moon rode through in an open-topped vehicle, passing the Kumsusan Palace where Kim's predecessors - his father and grandfather - lie in state.

North Korea maintains that it has developed its nuclear weapons to the point that it can now defend itself against a potential USA attack, and can now shift its focus to economic development and improved ties with the South.

The nuclear-armed North invaded its neighbour in 1950, starting the Korean War, although it now regularly stresses the importance of reunifying with the now far wealthier South. Both meetings were held at the border village of Panmunjom.

To keep expectations from getting too high, Moon's chief of staff, Im Jong-seok, said it's "difficult to have any optimistic outlook" for progress on denuclearization during the summit.

Liberal presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun endured withering conservative criticism that their little-strings-attached shipments of aid and cooperation projects with North Korea helped finance the North's weapons program.

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