North Korean leader Kim Jong-un met senior government officials from South Korea for the first time for an “open-hearted talk” to improve ties and “write a new history of national reunification”, the state-run Korean Central News Agency reported on Tuesday.
A 10-member South Korean delegation led by its National Security Office head Chung Eui-yong visited the North Korean capital Pyongyang on Monday to see if North Korea and the United States were willing to talk to each other amid heightened tensions over the North’s nuclear programme, Reuters reported.
Seoul’s delegation met Kim Jong-un, his sister Kim Yo-jong and Kim Jong-un’s wife Ri Sol-ju for dinner, South Korea spokesperson Kim Eui-kyeom told Reuters. The two-day meet ends on Tuesday.
The last time envoys from South Korea visited Pyongyang was in 2007. Kim Jong-un has rarely met foreign officials since he became the leader in 2011.
Before leaving Seoul on Monday, National Security Office head Chung said his team would deliver a letter from South Korean President Moon Jae In in which he writes about the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.
Kim Jong-un gave orders for “practical steps” regarding the letter from Moon, the North’s official news agency said, but did not divulge details. South Korea has not yet commented fully on the meeting, but has said the two sides reached a “satisfactory agreement” on future talks, BBC reported.
Reports said Seoul wanted to capitalise on tensions between the two Koreas easing after the recent Winter Olympics in South Korea. The two countries had marched under a single flag, and the South Korean president also hosted a high-level North Korean delegation.