In Pictures: Kim Jong Un Meets Moon Jae-in for Korean Peace Talks

00 - Korea
In Pictures: Kim Jong Un Meets Moon Jae-in for Korean Peace Talks Newsweek

For the past 68 years, North Korea and South Korea have been at war. The two countries spent three years actively fighting from 1950 to 1953, before an armistice was signed on July 27, 1953.

Unfortunately, an armistice is just a truce and not a peace treaty, so technically speaking the countries are still at war.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in have this week held peace talks. In the town of Panmunjom, inside the demilitarized zone, the leaders made history when they crossed into each other's countries for the first time.

Peace talks are ongoing and Kim has allegedly pledged to the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula. Moon promised to cease hostile acts and to transform the demilitarized zone into a peace zone.

But how did Korea ever become two countries in the first place?

From 1910 to 1945, the Korean peninsular lived under Imperial Japanese rule. During those 35 years, the former Korean government had completely dissolved.

In 1945, the United Nations elected to split the country at the 38th Parallel, with the U.S. managing the south and the USSR managing the north. The countries were expected to be eventually reunited.

In 1948, Syngman Rhee was elected the president of the south, but unfortunately no election was held by the USSR and Kim Il-sung was placed in power of the new communist state.

A war broke out in 1950 when the USSR-backed north invaded the south. The U.S. sent help to the south and after three years, the war ended with almost the same borders. Both north and south came close to winning the war.

A new era of Korean relations appears to be on the horizon. If talks progress, a peace treaty is expected to be signed sometime this year.

01 - South Korea on board
As South Korean President Moon Jae-in departs Seoul for the demilitarized zone, members of the public smile in the streets.REUTERS/Jorge Silva
02 - flags waving
Waving South Korean flags, the public is enthused by the upcoming peace talks.REUTERS/Jorge Silva
03 - flags line the streets as pres leaves
The flags line the streets of Seoul outside of the Presidential Blue House (the home of the South Korean president).REUTERS/Jorge Silva
04 - all smiles
The moment everyone has been waiting for: North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in finally meet.Host Broadcaster via REUTERS TV
05 - the border
History is made as President Moon Jae-in steps across the border into North Korea for the first time.Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
06 - the meet
The pair shake hands as President Moon Jae-in stands in North Korea. The cement line represents the border between the two countries.Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
07 - hand holding
President Moon Jae-in takes Kim Jong Un across the border into South Korea.Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
08 - taking a stroll
Almost like old school friends, the Korean leaders walk and talk.Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters