North Korea’s state-run Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) described the encounter as an “openhearted talk” over issues aimed at “improving the North-South relations and ensuring peace and stability on the Korean Peninsula.”
It’s believed to be the first time Kim has spoken face-to-face with officials from the South since he took power in 2011. It was also the first time a South Korean delegation had ever set foot in the main building of Korean Workers’ Party, according to South Korean officials
The Seoul delegation also delivered a personal letter from South Korean President Moon Jae-in to Kim, according to KCNA.
Chung Eui-yong (second left), head of the presidential National Security Office pose with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un on Monday in Pyongyang, North Korea.
The South Koreans’ trip north marks the latest development in President Moon’s efforts to broker a diplomatic agreement to the crisis brought about by North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear weapons. The visit comes in the wake of the thaw brought about by North Korea’s attendance at the PyeongChang Winter Olympics last month.
Kim Jong Un as a leader has kept himself highly circumscribed. This is not someone who has met with many non-North Koreans in almost six years,” said John Delury, a professor at Yonsei University’s Graduate School of International Relations in Seoul.