North and South Korea Summit: Every Little Detail You Want to Know

Friday's historic meeting between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in has been organized to a painstaking level of detail.

A summit schedule was published on Thursday on the South Korean government-run website created specifically for the meeting, whose slogan promises "Peace, a new start."

The South Korean presidential office has made a big show of the meeting's significance, with virtually every element of the summit decor and schedule drenched in symbolism.

Read more: Everything you need to know about the North and South Korean leaders' summit

From the color of the footbridge the two leaders will be crossing side-by-side on an afternoon stroll—freshly painted in azure, the color symbol of the U.N. and of the Korean unification flag—to the commemorative tree planted in 1953, the date in which the Korean War armistice was signed, every moment of the summit has been carefully choreographed.


Kim will arrive at the border by car, but will walk the military demarcation line (MDL) to enter South Korea at 9.30 a.m. local time (8.30 p.m. EST)—not far from the spot that a North Korean defector crossed under a hail of bullets just five months ago.

Moon will be there to greet Kim, shake his hand and pose for commemorative pictures, as the moment will mark the first time a North Korean leader sets foot on South Korean soil.

A U.S. soldier stands guard in front of the Peace House, the venue of third inter-Korean summit at the South Korea-side of the the border village of Panmunjom between South and North Korea at the Demilitarized Zone (DMZ) on April 18, 2018 in Panmunjom, South Korea. Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images

A South Korean honor guard will escort the leaders to a welcome ceremony outside the meeting venue, known as the Peace House.

The venue

The Peace House was redecorated and refurbished especially for the occasion. The first floor will host a guestbook that Kim is expected to sign before the formal start of the talks, at 10.30 a.m. sharp.

The meeting room hosting the talks features custom-made chairs made from walnut tree and an oval table measuring 2,018 millimeters across at the center, a reference to the year of this historic event.

The Inter Korean Summit meeting room is seen at the peace house on April 25, 2018 in Panmunjom, South Korea. Korea Summit Pool via Getty Images

The company

Kim's entourage consists of nine high-ranking North Korean officials, Yonhap news agency reported. The delegation includes his influential sister Kim Yo Jong and the nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam, who both visited South Korea in February for the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics.

South Korean media said it remained unclear whether Kim's wife Ri Sol Ju would join her husband, as she previously did during the trip to China.

The talks will break for lunch, held in separate venues, with the North Koreans expected to return to their side of the border.

South Korean activists wearing masks of South Korean President Moon Jae-in (L) and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un (R) pose for a photo during a rally to support the upcoming inter-Korean summit, at Gwanghwamun square in Seoul on April 25, 2018. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will walk across the Demilitarized Zone on April 27, for a historic summit with the South's President Moon Jae-in, the highest-level encounter yet in a whirlwind of nuclear diplomacy. Jung Yeon-je /AFP

The tree

The summit will resume in the afternoon with a tree-planting ceremony, a highly-anticipated photo opportunity. The pine tree will be planted besides the point on the MDL that a cattle-filled truck crossed in 1998—a gift Hyundai Group chairman Chung Joo-young gave North Korea in what was dubbed "Operation Rawhide."

The soil and the water used in the tree-planting ceremony were collected from mountains and rivers in the two countries, following the example of the 2007 inter-Korean summit where a tree was similarly planted in Pyongyang.

South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun (L), his wife Kwon Yang-Suk and President of North Korean Supreme People's Assembly Kim Yong Nam (R) water a pine tree with the soil from Baekrokdam of Mount Halla and Heaben Lake of Mount Baekdu at the Central Botanical Garden during the during the two Korea Summit in Pyongyang, North Korea, 04 October 2007. STR/AFP/Getty Images

A stone will be placed in front of the tree featuring the two leaders' names, as well as the phrase "Here we plant peace and prosperity."

After planting the tree, Moon and Kim will take a leisurely stroll before returning to the Peace House for more formal discussions, which are expected to produce a joint declaration.

The dinner

Dinner will be served at 6.30 p.m., with the two delegations sharing the meal. The menu features traditional dishes celebrating North and South Korean produce and histories, as well as a potato rosti in honor of Kim's teenage years spent at a boarding school in Switzerland.

A dessert which will be served at the inter-Korean summit banquet is seen in this handout provided by the Presidential Blue House on April 24. The Presidential Blue House Handout/via Reuters

A mango mousse that caused offense to Japan, because it featured a map of the Korean peninsula displaying islands at the center of a territorial dispute between Seoul and Tokyo, remains on the menu.

Parting gifts

Besides the participation of the leaders' wives at the summit and the dinner, the only other surprise element of the day is which gifts, if any, will the two countries exchange.

At the first inter-Korean summit in 2000 in Pyongyang, South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and North Korea's Kim Jong Il exchanged a pair of puppies—South Korea's jindo dogs, known for their loyalty, and North Korea's Pungsan dogs, known for their bravery—according to Channel News Asia.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Il (2nd R) looks at a gift he received from South Korean President Roh Moo-Hyun (R), during their meeting on October 3, 2007 in Pyongyang, North Korea. Pool/Getty Images

In 2007, South Korean president Roh Moo-hyun presented the North Korean leader with soap opera and music video DVD sets as well as an eight-panel folded screen depicting the 12 symbols of longevity. He returned to Seoul with 500 boxes of pine mushrooms.

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