Rush to replay leaders' handshake revives appeal of Korean movie set

NAMYANGJU, South Korea, May 9 (Reuters) - When a smiling North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shook hands with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on the border of their countries during a summit last month, images of the historic moment grabbed the world's attention.

It was the first time a North Korean leader had set foot in the South since the 1950-1953 Korean War. Moon and Kim said they would work to denuclearise the Korean peninsula and seek a peace agreement to replace the 1953 armistice.

Since that April 27 encounter, a movie set version of the compound where the leaders met has become popular with South Koreans, who line up to recreate the famous handshake and snap a photograph.

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Tourists recreate historic handshake between Korean leaders
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Tourists recreate historic handshake between Korean leaders
A woman takes a picture of boys mimicking a handshake between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the summit in late April, at the replica of the truce village of Panmunjom at a movie studio in Namyangju, South Korea May 8, 2018. Picture taken on May 8, 2018. This picture was taken through a window. REUTERS/Kwak Sung-Kyung
A girl pulls a skirt of a woman in front of a cement block symbolising a border line at the replica of the truce village of Panmunjom at a movie studio in Namyangju, South Korea May 8, 2018. Picture taken May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Kwak Sung-Kyung
A girl takes a picture of her parents mimicking a handshake between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the summit in late April, at the replica of the truce village of Panmunjom at a movie studio in Namyangju, South Korea May 8, 2018. Picture taken May 8, 2018. This picture was taken through a window. REUTERS/Kwak Sung-Kyung
Visitors walk over a cement block symbolising a border line at the replica of the truce village of Panmunjom at a movie studio in Namyangju, South Korea May 8, 2018. Picture taken on May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Kwak Sung-Kyung
A girl and woman gesture to make a promise over a cement block symbolising a border line as they mimic a handshake between North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in at the summit in late April, at the replica of the truce village of Panmunjom at a movie studio in Namyangju, South Korea May 8, 2018. Picture taken on May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Kwak Sung-Kyung TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
A man and woman share a light moment as they visit the replica of the truce village of Panmunjom at a movie studio in Namyangju, South Korea May 8, 2018. Picture taken on May 8, 2018. REUTERS/Kwak Sung-Kyung
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"It is much more realistic to actually see it here," said Kim Sang-jin, 8, who watched the meeting live on television.

"I wondered how they felt when holding hands, and now my curiosity has been satisfied," he told Reuters Television.

The faded film set on the outskirts of Seoul, the South Korean capital, has become a destination for selfie-seeking tourists who cannot step across the real, heavily-guarded border at the exact spot the Korean leaders met.

The set was built at a studio for the South Korean murder mystery film "Joint Security Area," named for the United Nations-administered area along the border between the two countries technically still at war.

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Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-In meet at DMZ
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Kim Jong Un and Moon Jae-In meet at DMZ
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shake hands at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attend a welcoming ceremony in the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet in the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
People watch a TV showing a live broadcast of the inter-Korean summit, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attend a welcoming ceremony in the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet in the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
People watch a TV showing a live broadcast of the inter-Korean summit, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
People wave the Korean unification flag during the inter-Korean summit, near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, South Korea, April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-ji
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet in the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attend a welcoming ceremony in the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
Soldiers keep watch on the Grand Unification Bridge that leads to the Peace House, the venue for the Inter-Korean summit, near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, South Korea, April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-ji
People hold the Korean unification flag as they watch a news report on the inter-Korean summit, near the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, in Paju, South Korea, April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Kim Hong-ji
People watch a TV showing a live broadcast of the inter-Korean summit, at a railway station in Seoul, South Korea, April 27, 2018. REUTERS/Jorge Silva
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un attend a welcoming ceremony in the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
People watch a television news screen showing live footage of the inter-Korean summit between South Korea's President Moon Jae-in (on screen L) and North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un (on screen R) at a railway station in Seoul on April 27, 2018. - North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the South's President Moon Jae-in shook hands on April 27 over the Military Demarcation Line that divides their countries in a gesture laden with symbolism ahead of a historic summit. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / AFP) (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
Vehicles carrying South Korean president Moon Jae-in approach a military check point on the Unification Bridge, linked to North Korea, near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Paju, South Korea, on Friday, April 27, 2018. Kim Jong Un�on Friday became the first North Korean leader to enter South Korea since the peninsula was divided almost seven decades ago as talks begin over dismantling his nuclear weapons program. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Vehicles carrying South Korean president Moon Jae-in pass a military check point on the Unification Bridge, linked to North Korea, near the demilitarized zone (DMZ) in Paju, South Korea, on Friday, April 27, 2018. Kim Jong Un�on Friday became the first North Korean leader to enter South Korea since the peninsula was divided almost seven decades ago as talks begin over dismantling his nuclear weapons program. Photographer: SeongJoon Cho/Bloomberg via Getty Images
South Korean President Moon Jae-in (C) is greeted by his supporters as he leaves for the truce village of Panmunjom, near the presidential Blue House in Seoul on April 27, 2018 ahead of the inter-Korea summit. - 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 before their summit on March 27, Seoul said, in an occasion laden with symbolism. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / various sources / AFP) (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in (C) is greeted by his supporters as he leaves for the truce village of Panmunjom, near the presidential Blue House in Seoul on April 27, 2018 ahead of the inter-Korea summit. - 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 before their summit on March 27, Seoul said, in an occasion laden with symbolism. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / various sources / AFP) (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
The motorcade carrying South Korean President Moon Jae-in passes through Seoul as he heads to a summit with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on April 27, 2018. - 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 before their summit on March 27, Seoul said, in an occasion laden with symbolism. (Photo by GREG BAKER / AFP) (Photo credit should read GREG BAKER/AFP/Getty Images)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in (C) is greeted by his supporters as he leaves for the truce village of Panmunjom, near the presidential Blue House in Seoul on April 27, 2018 ahead of the inter-Korea summit. - 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 before their summit on March 27, Seoul said, in an occasion laden with symbolism. (Photo by Jung Yeon-je / various sources / AFP) (Photo credit should read JUNG YEON-JE/AFP/Getty Images)
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet in the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters
South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un meet in the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY
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The replica compound at the KOFIC Namyangju Studio is an hour's drive from the real Joint Security Area, near the truce village of Panmunjom, where the leaders met.

On a recent sunny day, families, couples and even a pet dog roamed the set, smiling and laughing as they mimicked the handshake between Moon and the reclusive Kim.

For many visitors, including older ones who lived through the war, the summit raised hopes for peace on the divided peninsula.

"I feel unification of the North and South would be great," said 91-year-old Lee Young-hee. "I think it would be wonderful to live united."

(Additional reporting by Writing by Haejin Choi Editing by Josh Smith and Darren Schuettler)

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