Friday's historic summit between the leaders of North Korea and South Korea has drawn major media attention, but there was one moment that was especially captivating. A video of Kim Jong Un's security team jogging alongside the North Korean leader's limo as he drove away from the summit's first session quickly went viral, mesmerizing social media users with the guards' precision and formation.
Kim entered South Korea for the first time Friday to meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in in the peninsula’s demilitarized zone to discuss the possibility of peace and a nuclear-free Korean Peninsula. It was truly a historic meeting that ended with both leaders signing the Panmunjon Declaration for Peace, Prosperity and Unification on the Korean Peninsula. In the agreement, both leaders commit to negotiating a peace treaty that would officially end the Korean War in exchange for the North Korean leader's promise to dismantle his country's nuclear program.
However, it was Kim stepping into his limo after the summit's first round of talks and drove back into North Korea for lunch that had folks on social media talking. Video footage of the event shows 12 suit-clad North Korean bodyguards surrounding Kim's limo and proceeding to run alongside it as the North Korean leader is shuttled back over the border.
Clearly this video was going to become a meme. In fact, I'd say this video is among the crème de la crème of all meme-worthy content currently floating around the internet. And thankfully there was at least one social media user up to the challenge of turning it into a #squadgoals meme.
According to the Daily Mail, Kim's jogging security team didn't have to escort his vehicle too far. The North Korean leader headed to the northern side of Panmunjom truce village to nosh with other North Korean officials during a break between talks. But this wasn't the only time Kim's bodyguards flanked his limo in a perfect U formation and then proceeded to jog alongside, their blue ties swinging with each bouncy step. According to CNN, those bodyguards traveled with the North Korean leader "throughout the summit." The cable news network even captured Kim's jogging bodyguards escorting his car back across the border when the summit wrapped up Friday night.
A team of similarly-dressed men also accompanied Kim's sister, Kim Yo Jong, when she attended the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, although there's no known footage of them running alongside her car, sadly. But both the jogging bodyguards seen at Friday's summit and the ones seen with Kim's sister in PyeongChang are likely only one part of the heavy security detail put in place to protect the North Korean leader and his family.
According to the Japan Times, a former bodyguard for Kim's father who'd defected from the country once revealed that Kim Jong Il would employ up to six different "layers" of security guards to protect him. That same defector also admitted to CNN in 2014 that bodyguards assigned to protect North Korean leaders and their families undergo tough physical training as well as some "ideological brainwashing."
Although armed conflict in the Korean Peninsula lasted from only 1950 to 1953, a peace treaty was never formally signed, meaning the neighboring nations have technically been at war for 68 years. In remarks delivered at a banquet capping off Friday's summit, Kim reiterated the "need to maintain peace" and "open a new era of co-prosperity," CNN reported. "I would like to join hands together between the two sides so that we can open up a new chapter in our history," the North Korean leader said.