Usually when South Koreans see Kim Jong-Un’s face plastered on news billboards it fills them with the dread a potentially devastating war.
But on Friday the unthinkable happened – the two Koreas pledged to end more than 60 years of hostility and de-nuclearise the peninsula.
Suddenly ordinary Koreans who grew up knowing nothing but tension from the north were cautiously optimistic about a peaceful future.
South Koreans excitedly watched a landmark agreement be signed with North Korea that will bring piece to the peninsula after 60 years of hostility
Suddenly ordinary Koreans who grew up knowing nothing but tension from the north were cautiously optimistic about a peaceful future
Citizens watch a TV broadcast of a landmark inter-Korean summit on a giant screen set up at a downtown plaza in Seoul, South Korea
Many packed city squares and cheered as the agreement was announced
People crowded around TVs and rushed to grab newspapers to take in the extraordinary news that took the world by surprise.
Others packed city squares and cheered as the agreement was announced.
‘In theory, we have an armistice but the atmosphere… is actually quite frightening when there’s nuclear tests and missile launches,’ Jang Gyu-won, 23, told CNN.
The deal also paved the way for families separated by the split up of Korea to be reunited, and for citizens to freely travel between the two countries.
The two Koreas pledged to end more than 60 years of hostility and de-nuclearise the peninsula
North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un greets South Korean President Moon Jae-in as the summit begins on Friday
The President and the North Korean dictator agreed to move towards officially ending the Korean war and de-nuclerisation of the peninsula
South Koreans read news of the agreement and future summits in newspapers
Lee Bong-joo, 52, said she was ‘so happy such an occasion took place’ as his late father was from North Korea and he may finally be able to visit.
‘I hope there will be good news soon so I can go to my father’s hometown and do a memorial service for him there,’ she said.
‘He wanted to meet his separated family (in the North), but couldn’t, and passed away while waiting. He really wanted to go back to his hometown.’
‘I’m filled with emotion,’ said Park Ha-seok, 60, as he watched the pictures being broadcast from the border village of Panmunjom. ‘I don’t expect a big change but this is a start.’
People crowded around TVs and rushed to grab newspapers to take in the extraordinary news that took the world by surprise
The deal also paved the way for families separated by the split up of Korea to be reunited, and for citizens to freely travel between the two countries
Cheers for Kim and Moon: Students at a Seoul high school clap while watching a live broadcast of the summit at the truce village of Panmunjom
Lee Ji-eun, a 32-year-old doctor and mother of a baby girl, said the pictures had made her unpack an emergency bag she had placed by her front door about six months ago in case of war.
‘The bag has my daughter’s diapers, a portable radio and a gas burner,’ Lee said.
‘Now I find it funny that I told my babysitter to take this bag and my daughter to flee to the basement if there’s war.’
North Koreans also learned of the news for the first time as the agreement was signed, having only been told Mr Kim had left for the summit.
‘The historic Panmunjom Declaration accomplished a comprehensive and groundbreaking development in the North-South relationship in line with the whole nation’s demand and desire for peace and the unification of the Korean Peninsula,’ the state-run Korean Central News Agency said.
South Koreans watch a telecast of the two leaders giving a joint press conference at the summit
South Korean people watch news of the agreement while waiting at a Seoul train station
People watch Moon Jae-in and Kim Jung-Un’s meeting at the MDL(Military Demarcation Line) for Inter-Korean Summit in live news streams through television broadcast
Thousands of South Korean Buddhists have a prayer service wishing for a successful Inter-Korean Summit and peace for the country
The station said it would ‘set a new milestone with a transformational significance that will connect the broken bloodline of the nation and push forward common prosperity and independent unification’.
The North Korean dictator’s mouthpiece took a much different tone to the usual fire and fury that only months ago published threats to turn Seoul into ‘a sea of fire’.
KCNA even described South Korean President Jae-in Moon as ‘President Moon,’ despite the country officially considering the government in the south illegitimate.
South Korea was usually referred to as a puppet or vassal state of the U.S. and Mr Moon’s predecessor Geun-hye was often called ‘traitor Park’.
North Koreans also learned of the news for the first time as the agreement was signed, having only been told Mr Kim had left for the summit