Asia-Pacific

Kim hopes for 'big outcome' at summit with South Korea

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The leaders of North and South Korea are meeting for the first round of talks at a three-day summit in Pyongyang.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un says he wants to produce a "big outcome" as he started three days of summit talks with South Korea's President Moon Jae-in aimed at rekindling stalled nuclear diplomacy.

The two leaders began official talks on Tuesday afternoon, after parading down the streets of Pyongyang in Kim's black Mercedes limousine to loud cheers from nearly 100,000 North Koreans who waved flowers and chanted "Unification! Motherland!"

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Kim Jong-un welcomes Moon Jae-in at Pyongyang airport ahead of summit
Kim Jong-un welcomes Moon Jae-in at Pyongyang airport ahead of summit

Earlier, Kim greeted Moon with hugs and handshakes as the South Korean leader landed in the North's capital with a mission to revive momentum in faltering talks between Washington and Pyongyang over denuclearisation and advance the prospect of formally ending the Korean War.

As Kim escorted Moon to the Paekhwawon State Guest House, where the South Korean leader will stay during his visit, Kim said he wanted to produce a "bigger outcome at a faster pace" than the two leaders have achieved so far.

"You Mr President are travelling all around the world, but our country is humble compared with developed nations," Kim told Moon.

South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
South Korean president Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
AAP

"I've been waiting and waiting for today. The level of the accommodation and schedule we provide may be low, but it's our best sincerity and heart."

Moon said it was "time to bear fruit" and thanked Kim for his hospitality, which included a massive welcome ceremony at Pyongyang International Airport featuring a large, goose-stepping honour guard and a military band.

During their motor parade through Pyongyang's landmark Ryomyong Street, a new residential district launched last year under Kim's initiative to modernise the city, Kim and Moon briefly stepped out of the vehicle to greet and take flowers from members of the crowd.

The two leaders were scheduled to attend a musical performance and have dinner at Mokrankwan, a top banquet hall where Kim hosted massive celebrations last year to congratulate scientists and officials for tests on long-range missile capable of reaching the United States.

South Korean president Moon Jae-in is greeted by North Korean people beside North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
South Korean president Moon Jae-in is greeted by North Korean people beside North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
AAP

This week's summit, the third between Moon and Kim, will be a litmus test for another meeting Kim has recently proposed to US President Donald Trump.

Trump has asked Moon to be "chief negotiator" between himself and Kim, according to Moon's aides, after Trump cancelled a trip to Pyongyang by his secretary of state last month.

Washington wants to see concrete action toward denuclearisation by North Korea before agreeing to a key goal of Pyongyang - declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War.

On Wednesday, Moon and Kim plan to hold a second round of officials talks after which they are expected to unveil a joint statement, and a separate military pact designed to defuse tensions and prevent armed clashes. Moon will return home early Thursday.

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