Kim Yo Jong, sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un attends wreath laying ceremony at Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam. File photo/ Reuters
North Korean leader Kim Jong Un’s sister will visit the demilitarised zone separating the North from the South on Wednesday to pay her condolences to former South Korean First Lady Lee Hee-ho, South Korea’s Unification Ministry said.
North Korea said that the sister, Kim Yo Jong, will visit the border village of Panmunjom in the evening, according to the ministry. She is expected to meet South Korean officials.
Lee Hee-ho, who died on Monday, was the widow of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who became the first South Korean leader to meet North Korea’s then-leader Kim Jong Il in 2000.
Kim Yo Jong’s visit comes a year after her brother and US President Donald Trump agreed at the first US-North Korea summit in Singapore to work towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula, easing fears of war.
Those talks have since stalled and inter-Korean engagement has dwindled.
Kim Dae-jung, president between 1998-2003, is known for championing the so-called "Sunshine policy" of engagement with North Korea. Last year’s detente between the two Koreas was seen as a revival of that policy.
Reclusive North Korea and the rich, democratic South are technically still at war because their 1950-53 conflict ended in a truce, not a peace treaty.
Last year saw a number of high-level meetings between South and North, including three summits between Kim Jong Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.
Kim Yo Jong visited South Korea for the Winter Olympics in February 2018 and also accompanied her brother on the summits.
The unidentified active-duty soldier was first detected by thermal imaging equipment moving south near the Imjin River late on Wednesday and South Korean troops took him into custody
US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he would like to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un this weekend at the demilitarized zone (DMZ) on the border of North and South Korea.
US Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Defence Secretary Lloyd Austin are travelling in Asia this week for foreign policy and security talks with allies in Japan and South Korea, among other stops.
South Korean President Moon Jae-in, who has long backed engagement with Pyongyang, made a carefully measured speech on Friday — when the South marked three deadly attacks by the North since 1999 — that did not specifically refer to the missile test.
Hassan Afzal Khan presented his credentials to Rashid Al Qaseer, Deputy Director, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Dubai Office) and assumed his responsibilities as consul general of Pakistan to Dubai and Northern Emirates.
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The authorities said the decision is effective from Aug.5.
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