South Korea is of the belief that you can never be too prepared, organizing each element of its historic summit with North Korea on Friday down to the last millimeter.
At 9.30 a.m. North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will walk over the border separating the two countries to meet South Korean President Moon Jae-In before they, and their delegations, walk into South Korea’s Peace House.
The two will enter the main meeting room — which is designed to look like the inside of a traditional Korean house — at the same time, before sitting at a table made to have a symbolic width of 2,018 millimeters.
The new table is also designed to look like two bridges coming together, and is just one part of what will be a symbolism-filled day.
There will be a tree-planting ceremony, with soil and water taken from a mountain and river in each Korea, and a curated dinner menu, where each carefully selected item tells a story about the Koreas and their leaders.
But before all the symbolism, South Korea has been hurriedly renovating the 30-year-old Peace House that will act as the backdrop to the historic meeting and be broadcast live around the world.
The building had red carpets installed, new works of art have been placed, the wallpaper is refreshed, furniture is updated, and fresh paint adorns the corridors to give the place a more “stylish” look. The original blue vinyl entrance has been removed.
There were also significant upgrades made to electronics and security equipment in the building, as well as the creation of a situation room on the third floor.
To prepare for the Inter-Korean summit, South Korea held its own rehearsal on Tuesday and the two countries will do a final walk-through on Thursday.
But the Koreas held a joint rehearsal on Wednesday with no detail left unaccounted-for.
The rehearsal began at the same time of day that Kim will walk across the border line to ensure the sunlight won’t interfere with the live broadcast. The two countries then acted out greetings and introductions in the Peace House and both countries checked the setup and location of cameras and spotlights.
But Kim will also be bringing some of his own equipment, as the leader apparently never travels without his own personal toilets.
“The leader’s excretions contain information about his health status so they can’t be left behind,” Lee Yun-keo, a former member of the North Korean Guard Command, told The Washington Post.
While in South Korea, US General Vincent Brooks, who is the head of the UN Command, will be in charge of Kim’s security.
But of all the preparations, South Korea has admitted no accommodation has been organized for Kim, indicating there is little-to-no chance of the summit being extended beyond April 27.