North Korean state media said Monday that its high-level delegation returned from a trip to South Korea that was “meaningful” in improving inter-Korean relations.
The North Korean delegation led by its ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam arrived in Pyongyang late Sunday night after a three-day visit to the South to attend the opening of the PyeongChang Winter Olympics. North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong delivered to President Moon Jae-in her brother’s letter and invitation to Pyongyang.
“The latest trip by the high-level delegation served as an important occasion in improving relations between North and South Korea, and setting up an environment for peace on the Korean Peninsula,” said the Rodong Sinmun, North Korea’s main newspaper published by its ruling party.
The newspaper’s front page also carried a story on the delegation and President Moon Jae-in watch watching a performance by the North Korean art troupe in Seoul on Sunday. The performance was “highly acclaimed,” it said.
The Rodong Sinmun reported that the delegation was invited to a lunch hosted by South Korean Prime Minister Lee Nak-yon and a dinner hosted by President Moon’s Chief of Staff Im Jong-seok on Sunday. These gatherings, it said, were held in “a friendly mood.”
The delegation landed in Pyongyang airport on a jet named Chammae-2 at around 10:40 p.m., the newspaper said.
Upon their arrival, the nominal head of state Kim reviewed the military’s guard of honor after receiving their salute, it said.
A whirlwind of sports diplomacy took place between the two Koreas after Kim Jong-un announced in his New Year’s address that he was willing to send the North’s delegates to the PyeongChang Olympics. South and North Korea held their first formal talks in over two years last month to discuss the North’s participation.
North Korea sent 22 athletes as well as hundreds of cheerleaders and an art troupe to the 2018 PyeongChang Winter Olympics.
By Kim So-hyun (email@example.com