2 Korean Leaders in Show of Solidarity on Symbolic Mountain

  • By Ahn Jun-yong

    September 21, 2018 09:49

    President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un climbed Mt. Baekdu on Thursday morning on the last day of Moon's three-day trip to the North.

    Moon and his wife Kim Jung-sook left their quarters in Pyongyang at 6:40 a.m. and boarded a plane at Sunan International Airport, arriving at Samjiyon Airport near Mt. Baekdu some 40 minutes later.

    The two Korean leaders and their wives pose at the crater lake on Mt. Baekdu on Thursday.

    Here they were joined by North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju. They then took a bus to the peak of Mt. Baekdu where they posed for photos under the bright autumn sky. Then they took a cable car to climb down to the crater lake on top of Mt. Baekdu which Koreans traditionally consider their spiritual home.

    Moon thanked Kim for the chance to climb the symbolic mountain. "When South Koreans traveled to Mt. Baekdu through China, I pledged to climb the mountain directly and my wish has come true," he said. "We have now taken our first step. I sincerely believe that the day will come when ordinary people from the South will be able to travel to Mt. Baedu."

    The leaders of the two Koreas and their wives sit in a cable car on Mt. Baekdu on Thursday. /Yonhap

    Moon dipped his hand into the crater lake atop the mountain, while the first lady took out a PET bottle with water from Mt. Halla on Jeju Island. "I will pour half of it into the lake and refill the bottle with water from Mt. Baekdu" to bring back to South Korea, she said.

    The two Korean leaders take a stroll at a guesthouse in Samjiyon on Thursday. /Yonhap

    The two leaders and their wives then had lunch together at a guesthouse in Samjiyon often frequented by Kim's father Kim Jong-il.

    Moon and Kim then took a private stroll outside the guesthouse just as they did during their first summit at the border truce village of Panmunjom in April.

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