Kim Jong-un to Be Welcomed by S.Korean Honor Guard

      April 26, 2018 11:51

      North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and President Moon Jae-in are expected to walk past a South Korean honor guard in front of the Peace House in the truce village of Panmunjom on Friday, a first for a North Korean leader, the Defense Ministry said Wednesday.

      "Former Presidents Kim Dae-jung and Roh Moo-hyun were welcomed by the North Korean military honor guards when they went to the North for the summits" with former leader Kim Jong-il, a government official said. "The decision was made based on reciprocity."

      According to a press release from the ministry the gesture is one of "courtesy… aimed at establishing peace on the Korean Peninsula and restoring trust between the two sides."

      The ministry was careful to deflect criticism by pointing to precedent. "The leaders of the U.S., the Soviet Union, and China inspected each other's honor guards even at the apex of the Cold War," it said. 

      "The custom originated from a ceremony aimed at displaying the ruler's power to foreign guests of state during the medieval times," it added.

      But there will be no gun salute or ceremonial hoisting of flags since the summit takes place in the truce village.

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