Moon and first lady Kim Jung-sook stepped out of the presidential plane at around 10:08 a.m., to be embraced by the smiling Kim.
Moon's trip to Pyongyang comes amid a deadlock in denuclearization talks between the US and North Korea. By comparison, surveys after the April summit found overwhelming support for Moon from a public fascinated with the historic handshakes, border crossings and other dramatic scenes the two leaders produced after years of rising tensions.
While we did anticipate Kim Jong-un to greet President Moon at the airport, many did show some excitement as Kim Jong-un and his wife Ri Sol-ju emerged and walked towards the South Korean Air Force One.
As Moon arrived, the North's main newspaper said the United States was responsible for the lack of progress in denuclearization talks.
Rodong Sinmun, the official mouthpiece of the Workers' Party of Korea, said on Monday both sides should strive to create a "a new history of peace, prosperity and reunification" between the two Koreas that would "add to the joy of our people". That has left North Korea still technically at war with the USA -led United Nations coalition.
Moon's conservative predecessors, Park Geun-hye and Lee Myung-bak, faced harsh criticism from liberals that their hard-line stances only led North Korea to carry out more weapons tests and attacks such as two in 2010 that killed 50 South Koreans.
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The shine is starting to come off South Korean President Moon Jae-in's engagement strategy with the North.
The meeting "will probably generate rosy headlines but do little to accelerate efforts to denuclearize North Korea", Eurasia Group said in a note.
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"I've confirmed the honest willingness of both Chairman Kim Jong Un and President Trump on several occasions", Moon said during a Cabinet meeting. Currently, all major joint projects between the Koreas are stalled because of USA -led sanctions.
North Korea says the summit between leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in will offer an important opportunity in "further accelerating the development" in relations between the rivals.
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"Because this issue is not something we can address ourselves, I plan to hold candid talks with Chairman Kim Jong-un on where we can find an intersecting point between the United States' call for denuclearization steps and the North's demand for corresponding steps to guarantee its security and end the hostile relationship (between the USA and North Korea)", Moon said.
"If this visit somehow leads to the resumption of the US-North Korea talks, it would be significant enough in itself", he was quoted as saying before departure. But he will also face pressure from North Korea to move forward with inter-Korean cooperation, despite the ongoing impasse with the United States.
Moon, who goes to Pyongyang on Tuesday, has seen his approval rating fall to 49 percent in a recent Gallup Korea survey, the first time it dipped below 50 percent since he took office in May 2017 promising better ties with North Korea and political reform. (Yonhap) Im Jong-seok, President Moon Jae-in's chief of staff, announces the list of the entourage for Moon's trip to Pyongyang at Cheong Wa Dae on September 16, 2018.
Talks between the United States and North Korea, which Moon brokered through his April and May summits with Kim, have stalled since Kim's meeting with President Donald Trump in Singapore in June.
Moon - whose own parents fled the North during the three-year conflict - is on a three-day trip, following in the footsteps of his predecessors Kim Dae-jung in 2000 and mentor Roh Moo-hyun in 2007.
But hit a roadblock in the summit's wake, with Kim touting steps the North has taken, including the dismantling of nuclear and rocket-engine testing sites, and the White House repeatedly stressing that Pyongyang must first take verifiable steps to dismantle its nuclear arsenal before any further concessions.
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