Republic of Korea (ROK) President Moon Jae-in had a rare and historic meeting on Saturday with a delegation from the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), including Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of DPRK leader Kim Jong Un, and the country’s nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam.
Speculation had been mounting for days over the contents of a folder carried by Kim Yo Jong, the sister of Kim Jong Un, who is in South Korea with the DPRK’s Olympic delegation.
All was revealed at a formal meeting with President Moon Jae-in on Saturday, which she attended along with other senior DPRK officials.
During the meeting The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea invited South Korea’s president to visit Pyongyang for talks on strengthening inter-Korean cooperation. CGTN’s Jack Barton reports from Seoul.
Kim Eui-Kyeom, Presidential Blue House Spokesman said, “The special envoy, Kim Yo Jong, delivered a letter from Kim Jong Un, chairman of the State Affairs Commission, which contains his willingness to improve the inter-Korea relationship. Then she verbally delivered Chairman Kim Jong Un’s invitation to Pyongyang at a convenient time, saying he is willing to meet President Moon Jae-in at the earliest date.”
President Moon responded by saying the two Koreas should “make it happen”… though he told the delegation Pyongyang should also resume dialogue with Washington.
— CGTN (@CGTNOfficial) February 10, 2018
The meeting began shortly after 11 a.m. local time at Seoul’s presidential Blue House, according to Yonhap. It was followed by a lunch hosted by Moon.
The DPRK delegation, led by Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, arrived on Friday for the Winter Olympics opening ceremony and is due to return home on Sunday.
Kim Yo Jong is the first member of her family to have ever visited the ROK. Her unprecedented encounter with Moon caught the world’s attention in an opening ceremony that highlighted the themes of peace and harmony.
The two figures shook hands and then watched as athletes from the South and the North march together under a unified flag.
Sitting on the right was U.S. Vice President Mike Pence who kept his eyes on the ceremony.
Who is Kim Yo Jong?
Kim Yo Jong is said to be very close to her brother Kim Jong Un. They studied together in Switzerland from 1996 to 2000.
Kim Yo Jong, a senior member of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, is reportedly in charge of arranging her brother’s “field guidance” trips and publicity.
She was lifted to an alternate member of the politburo last year.
The daughter of the country’s late leader Kim Jong Il also acted as an aide to her father in his later years.
Who is Kim Yong Nam?
As president of the DPRK’s legislature – the Presidium of the Supreme People’s Assembly, 90-year-old Kim Yong Nam is the country’s top lawmaker. He has held the position for two decades.
Kim Yong Nam has been a senior Workers’ Party member since the 1980s, serving both late leaders Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il.
He is also a veteran diplomat. Though Kim Jong Un has not made an official visit overseas since taking power in 2012, Kim Yong Nam has attended events such as the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014 and the 2015 Bandung Conference (the first Afro-Asian Conference) in Indonesia.
Jonathan Pollack on relations between ROK and DPRK