Wrap-up of S. Korean envoys' visit to N. Korea

대북특사단 1박2일 일정... 김정일과는 다른 외교 행보 보이나

Let's delve deeper into where the envoys went and what they did during their two-day stay in Pyongyang.
Plus we also turn to an expert analysis on North Korea's handling of the meeting.
Lee Jeong-yeon fills us in.
The South Korean envoys weren't completely sure of what they'd be doing or when before embarking on their two-day journey to North Korea, but it seems they were able to meet with the highest levels of the regime's leadership.

According to South Korea's presidential office, the envoys landed Monday afternoon at Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang, where they were met on the plane by Ri Hyon, an official from North Korea's ruling Workers' Party.
Ri belongs to the United Front Department, the intelligence arm of the Workers' Party leadership.
Then they were greeted at the airport by Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland,... and another senior official from the United Front Department, Maeng Kyong-il.
The envoys then moved to a resort at Mount Kobang in the North Korean capital at around 3:40 PM. There they were met by the head of the United Front Department, Kim Yong-chol, the same official who attended the closing ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics in South Korea last month. They discussed the details of the two-day itinerary and were invited to dinner with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un.
Finally, at 6 PM, the envoys met Kim for the dinner at the headquarters of the Workers' Party. They were also joined by the leader's sister Kim Yo-jong, his wife Ri Sol-ju, and his chief of staff, Kim Chang-son.
Kim's wife is rarely seen at diplomatic events, so experts interpret her presence as a way for Kim to try and show the world that his regime is, in a sense, "normal."

The 10-member delegation held another meeting with North Korean officials on Tuesday... before heading back to South Korea.
Judging from the initial reports, experts say there's a noticeable difference in the diplomatic approach taken by the regime's current leader compared to his father.

"Kim Jong-il was a reclusive leader who kept South Korean envoys on the edge of their seats, but Kim Jong-un has been greeting our envoys very proactively. The fact that they had dinner at the headquarters of North Korea's ruling Workers' Party is unseen."

The expert adds that although it's hard to predict whether this will lead to dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang,... the proactive attitude on Kim Jong-un's part definitely reflects a open attitude towards future talks with South Korea, as well as the U.S..
Lee Jeong-yeon, Arirang News

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