North and South Korea agree to work towards 'complete denuclearisation'

Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae In held hands as they crossed the border earlier today

North and South Korea agree to work towards 'complete denuclearisation'

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, poses with South Korean President Moon Jae-in for a photo inside the Peace House at the border village of Panmunjom in Demilitarized Zone. Picture by: AP/Press Association Images

Updated 12pm

The leaders of North and South Korea have agreed to work towards the 'complete denuclearisation' of the Korean peninsula.

It comes after North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae In met for a historic summit at the border between the two countries.

In a declaration after the talks quoted by the Yonhap news agency, the leaders of the two countries said: "South and North Korea affirmed their shared objective of achieving a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula through complete denuclearisation."

Officials also said the two countries - who have never signed a full peace treaty - will work to "eliminate war" in the region, saying a "new age of peace has opened."

Both Koreas have pledged to reduce their arms supplies if 'tensions thaw and trust is restored'.

The countries will establish a joint liaison office in a bid to improve relations, while they plan to transform the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between the two countries into what is described as a 'peace zone'.

Reunions of families split by the separation of the two countries in the 1950s are also set to take place in August, according to the joint statement.

Historic summit

Earlier, Mr Kim and Mr Moon met at Panmunjeom village in the DMZ as the historic summit got under way.

The pair were photographed smiling, chatting and holding hands as Mr Kim became the first North Korean leader to cross over to the South.

Picture by: AP/Press Association Images

Mr Moon also briefly yet symbolically stepped into northern territory after an apparently unscripted invite from Mr Kim.

Today's meeting marked the first summit between the two Koreas in more than a decade.

The North Korean leader and a delegation of officials crossed the border back into their own territory for lunch following a morning of discussions.

A second round of talks and events took place this afternoon local time, while the leaders also planted a tree for 'peace and prosperity' to commemorate the summit.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, left, and South Korean President Moon Jae-in pose for photo after they planted a pine tree near the military demarcation line (Korea Summit Press Pool via AP)

There will also be a 'welcoming dinner' hosted by Mr Moon, while plans for the South Korean leader to visit Pyongyang in the autumn have also been announced.

'A starting line'

The two countries have been separated since 1953, when an armistice was signed to bring an end to the fighting in the Korean War.

Speaking ahead of the meeting, Mr Kim said: "We are at a starting line today, where a new history of peace, prosperity and inter-Korean relations is being written."

North Korean has already pledged to suspend nuclear and missile tests.

The summit marks a symbolic culmination of intensive diplomatic efforts by both sides to improve relations between the two countries following decades of tension.

In February, a high-level delegation from North Korea - led by Mr Kim's sister Kim Yo Jong, who is also attending today's summit - attended the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang in the South.

Mr Kim is also set to meet US President Donald Trump in May or June, only months after the two men repeatedly traded insults and threats.

Speaking as the Korean summit took place today, President Trump suggested "good things are happening".