Yesterday, Monday, March 5, 2018, South Korean officials traveled to the capital of North Korea, Pyongyang, to talk with Kim Jong Un and fellow government officials.
Since Kim Jong Un assumed control of the North Korean government in 2011, following the death of his father, who was previously in power of the communist regime considered by many to be a dictatorship, after which he never formally spoke with officials from any country on the face of planet Earth – until yesterday.
Experts in South Korea and countries around the world believe that Kim Jong Un and his North Korean advisors were open to discussion in large part because of the North’s recent involvement in the 2018 Winter Olympics. For some years, athletes from North Korea weren’t allowed to complete in any Olympic event – that means no Summer Olympics, Winter Olympics, or Paralympics appearances – though Kim Jong Un had allowed tens of athletes to compete in various events just a few weeks ago.
Following momentum of the North Korean government’s willingness to be diplomatic, the South Korean government felt attempting to hold delegations between the two governments was necessary in trying to achieve diplomacy between the two nations.
According to North Korean government officials, Kim Jong Un – who calls himself the Supreme Leader of North Korea – participated in an “openhearted talk” in Pyongyang. Although Moon Jae-in, the President of South Korea, felt attending the discussions was not appropriate, some of the country’s most trusted government officials were able to make the trip northbound to North Korea’s capital.
The state-sponsored media of North Korea, in famous for not being fair or unbiased, shared that Kim Jong Un was very much interested in “[writing] a new history of national reunification,” of which transpired during a large dinner party throughout the evening hours of Monday, March 5.
South Korean representatives shared that the dinner ceremony lasted approximately four hours.
Chung Eui-yong, national security advisor to Moon Jae-in, and Suh Soon, director of the country’s National Intelligence Service, were the first two people to meet formally with Kim Jong Un since 2011; that meeting came just yesterday, marking history in relations between the two nations.
The pair delivered a letter by hand to self-titled Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un, along with eight other representatives from the South Korean government.
South Korea had not officially spoken with their Northern counterpart for about ten years, prior to Monday’s