President Moon Jae-in (left) and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un wave during a vehicle parade in Pyongyang on Tuesday.
While it's the third face-to-face meeting between Moon and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this year, this inter-Korean summit also celebrated a number of firsts, according to South Korean spokesman Yoon Young-chan.
Om what are by now familiar images of the two Korean leaders hugging and exchanging warm smiles, Kim greeted Moon at Pyongyang's airport.
During a Cabinet meeting last week, Moon said he needs not only strong global support but also "nonpartisan backing at home" to help make next week's summit produce a major step toward denuclearization.
Long, who says he is cooperating with he DHS investigation, told CBS News on Sunday that he was authorized to commute home with aides because the FEMA chief has to follow a presidential directive to ensure continuation of federal services at all times, which entails access to secure communications.
Washington wants to see concrete action toward denuclearisation by North Korea before agreeing to a key goal of Pyongyang - declaring an end to the 1950-53 Korean War.
While the United States wants denuclearisation first and an easing of sanctions second, North Korea hopes for a step-by-step process where each concession by Pyongyang will lead to a gradual easing of the sanctions regime.
During a conversation at the Paekhwawon guest house where Moon was to stay, Kim said North Koreans hope diplomacy will yield positive results.
Addressing his visitor in respectful terms, Kim praised him for brokering his historic Singapore summit with US President Donald Trump in June, adding: "This has led to stability in the region and I expect more progress".
Moon is the first head of state from South Korea to visit Pyongyang in 11 years.
Meanwhile, the two Koreas' first ladies Ri Sol Ju and Kim Jung-sook visited the Okyru Children's Hospital and the Kim Won Gyun University of Music in Taedonggang District of Pyongyang.
"Citing the lack of progress on U.S. - North Korean dialog, Kim said, "[South Korea] needs to have some kind of mediating role to (continue dialog)".
The South Korean president was accompanied by business tycoons including Samsung heir Lee Jae-yong and the vice chairman of Hyundai Motor.
The dialogue between Pyeongyang and Washington had been stopped because of disagreements over denuclearization issues.
"The U.S.is totally to blame for the deadlocked DPRK-U.S. negotiations", the Rodong Sinmun said in an editorial, using the initials of the North's formal name, the Democratic People's Republic of Korea.
This is Moon's first trip to the North Korean capital, though he has met Kim twice at the border village of Panmunjom.
Moon is expected to return to Seoul on Thursday morning.
"If North Korea-US dialogue is restarted after this visit, it would have much significance in itself", Moon said before his departure.
Meanwhile, the United States and Russian Federation clashed Monday over enforcing U.N. sanctions against North Korea, with the US ambassador accusing Moscow of "cheating" and Russia's envoy accusing Washington of "political ill-intent". They met North Korean Deputy Prime Minister Ri Ryong Nam, who is in charge of economic affairs, although Seoul officials said they did not expect any specific joint economic projects to be agreed given extensive worldwide sanctions.
There's speculation that the scale of the political theater could grow even grander on Wednesday, the second day of the summit, with North Korea possibly engineering one of its huge mass games spectacles for Moon.
North Korea has taken some steps, like dismantling its nuclear and rocket-engine testing sites, but U.S. officials have said it must take more serious disarmament steps before receiving outside concessions.