02 October 2007

oh dear leader...

From UK Daily Telegraph, reporting of an historic moment

Koreas come together for second-ever summit

By Felix Lowe and agencies
Last Updated: 12:34pm BST 02/10/2007

North Korean leader Kim Jong-Il today welcomed South Korea's president Roh Moo-Hyun to Pyongyang for the start of only the second-ever summit between the divided Koreas since the Second World War.

North and South Korea were proclaimed separate nations in 1948, three years after the peninsula was divided between US and Soviet zones of influence.

Kim (left) shook hands with Mr Roh to open the three-day summit aimed at ending the half-century of animosity between the two states, who are technically still at war.

The two presidents watched a march-past of North Korean troops with North Korea's No 2 leader Kim Yong-Nam (far left).

In a lavishly orchestrated show of appreciation, North Korean citizens waved pink and red plastic flowers as they cheered the coming together of the two national figureheads.

Mr Roh and Kim stood in an open car during a welcoming ceremony at the April 25 Hall of Culture.

Mr Roh had ridden in a Mercedes Benz S600 Guard armoured vehicle as he travelled to the North for the summit. He said his goal was to foster peace between the North and South.

During the parade, the two leaders inspected the honour guard together. Earlier, Mr Roh had crossed the border that divides the Koreas in the centre of the heavily fortified Demilitarized Zone on foot.

"This line is a wall that has divided the nation for a half-century. Our people have suffered from too many hardships and development has been held up due to this wall," he said.

"This line will be gradually erased and the wall will fall," he added. "I will make efforts to make my walk across the border an occasion to remove the forbidden wall and move toward peace and prosperity."

North Korean journalists filmed the visit of President Roh and his wife Kwon Yang-Suk with archaic cameras from an open car.

While Kim appeared reserved and unemotional during the ceremony, his counterpart from South Korea revelled in the moment, waving and smiling throughout proceedings.

I'm lost for words. I never thought it would ever happen.

I bought a new mobile (cell) phone today to replace my current one which is starting to become less cooperative. The shop said to stick with my no plan plan as the company has stopped it.

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