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Leaders begin Korean summit

SEOUL, South Korea – North Korean leader Kim Jong Il greeted South Korean President Roh Moo-hyun in Pyongyang today to begin the second summit between the two countries since the peninsula’s division after World War II.

Thousands of cheering North Koreans waving pink paper flowers and a military honor guard bearing rifles with bayonets heralded the leaders’ first encounter outside a cultural hall in the North Korean capital, where Roh traveled some 3 1/2 hours by road from Seoul.

The two leaders walked down a red carpet where Kim, wearing his typical khaki military jumpsuit, introduced Roh to top North Korean leaders.

Neither made any public comment before Roh got back into his armored limousine to travel to the state guesthouse where he is staying for the summit that runs through Thursday.

Earlier, Roh walked across the North’s border on his way to Pyongyang, pledging to foster peace on the divided peninsula in the second-ever such meeting between its leaders.