Tomorrow's summit between South Korea's President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un is only the third time the leaders of the divided Koreas have met in the 65 years since the end of the Korean War.
The previous summits were held during a period of rapprochement and were followed by a decade of tense and cold relations.
A tentative thaw began earlier this year with North Korean participation in the Winter Olympics in South Korea's Pyeongchang.
The first inter-Korean summit took place between former North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, the late father of Kim Jong Un, and the liberal former president of South Korea, Kim Dae-jung.
The three-day meeting in June, which began with a broadly smiling Kim Jong Il tightly grabbing the hands of Kim Dae-jung at the Pyongyang airport, led to an agreement between the Koreas on joint economic projects, which have since stalled.
The countries also agreed to resume reunions of families divided between North and South.
Kim Dae-jung won the Nobel Peace Prize later in 2000 for his rapprochement policies with the North.
The Koreas held their second summit in October 2007 between Kim Jong Il and Roh Moo-hyun, Kim Dae-jung's liberal successor and the political mentor of current South Korean President Moon.
Mr Roh went to Pyongyang after crossing the demilitarised zone in a symbolic moment that grabbed international headlines.
Mr Kim and Mr Roh agreed to pursue a peace treaty to formally end the Korean War and reached a set of cooperation projects.
But most of the accords were shelved after Mr Roh's single five-year term ended months later and he was replaced by a conservative who took a harder line over the North's nuclear ambitions.
Mr Moon, a liberal who took office in May last year, and Mr Kim are meeting at a border village.
The summit comes after North Korea sent athletes, musical performers and officials to February's Winter Olympics, including Mr Kim's sister, who met with Mr Moon to deliver her brother's desire for a summit.
On a subsequent visit to the United States, South Korean envoys brokered a potential meeting between Mr Kim and President Donald Trump, who said he would meet the North Korean leader.