South Korea's Moon to meet North Korea's Kim at border for summit

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"I'm sure part of the ground rules for the North-South meeting will be tight controls on the South Korean press", Ralph Cossa, president of Pacific Forum CSIS and a longtime Koreas expert, said in an email.

In two new dispatches on Thursday morning, the North's state-run KCNA news agency said Kim went to Pyongyang's station on Wednesday evening "to see off a special goal train carrying the bodies of Chinese who were killed and the wounded in a tragic traffic accident".

South Korean honour guards will then escort the leaders to a welcome ceremony at a plaza in Panmunjom, a military compound in the demilitarised zone (DMZ) between the two countries.

This mindset could make it hard for Moon - keen on creating a legacy-defining moment that will set up Kim's summit with President Donald Trump in the coming weeks - to resist whatever media controls the North demands.

North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un and the South's president Moon Jae-in will meet at the Military Demarcation Line that divides the peninsula for their summit Friday, Seoul said, in an occasion laden with symbolism.

Last year, it carried out its sixth nuclear blast, by far its most powerful to date, and launched missiles capable of reaching the United States mainland.

After signing the guestbook and taking a photo together at Peace House, the venue for Friday's summit, the two leaders will start formal talks at 10:30 a.m. (0130 GMT).

However, he added it was yet hard to determine to what extent the two leaders will agree on, in regard to denuclearization.

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"We are thinking it could be called the "Panmunjom Declaration", Im said.

All of this is being used to update the US government's classified file on Kim's behavior, motives, personality and leadership style to help Trump and his aides develop a strategy for dealing with Kim at the expected first-ever meeting of USA and North Korean leaders.

South Korea's Buddhist community has also been holding services and bell-tolling ceremonies to wish for the summit's success.

Mr Kim will be accompanied by nine officials, including his sister, Kim Yo-jong, who led the North's delegation to the Winter Olympics in South Korea earlier this year.

The crash has sparked a series of rare mea culpas on North Korea's tightly controlled propaganda network in which Kim has taken centre stage both in responding to the crash and apologising to China.

The profile will also include intelligence gathered in past debriefings of others who have interacted with Kim, including ex-NBA star Dennis Rodman, Kim's former classmates at a Swiss boarding school and South Korean envoys, other US officials said, speaking on condition of anonymity.

The North Korean people were "overcome with sorrow", Kim told President Xi Jinping and other Chinese leaders.