The inclusion of top military and diplomatic officials in North Korea’s delegation to the inter-Korean summit could be an indication of Pyongyang’s long-term plans, a top South Korean official said Thursday.
In addition to party officials, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will be accompanied by chief of the General Staff of the Korean People‘s Army Ri Myong-su and Minister of People’s Armed Forces Pak Yong-sik. The delegation will also include Foreign Minsiter Ri Yong-ho and Ri Son-gwon, chairman of North Korea’s Committee for Peaceful Reunification.
“(Kim Jong-un’s entourage) includes core military and diplomatic officials, which was not expected,” said Im Jong-seok, President Moon Jae-in’s chief of staff and head of the summit preparation committee.
“(Seoul) takes the move as a sign that the North is not considering just the inter-Korean summit, but looking ahead to the US-North Korea talks, and international cooperation that will follow.”
Im added that North Korea’s military officials have been included in the delegation in light of the fact that denuclearization and the establishment of peace on the Korean Peninsula are central to the inter-Korean summit.
As for Kim Jong-un’s wife Ri Sol-ju, Im said Seoul hopes for her presence but that related negotiations have not proved conclusive.
By Choi He-suk (firstname.lastname@example.org)