Photo (left to right): North Korea's Kim Jong-Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Source: Wikimedia Commons. - Photo: 2018

A Rapper Accompanies South Korean President to Pyongyang

By J Nastranis

NEW YORK | SEOUL (IDN) – South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit Pyongyang, the capital city of North Korea from September 18-20, 2018 with a view to  encouraging Kim Jong-Un to break the deadlock in nuclear talks between North Korea and the United States. Moon played a crucial role in President Donald Trump and Kim coming together for the summit meeting in June.

Moon’s office said on September 16 that the President will be accompanied by 52 government officials, politicians, business leaders and selected representatives from various other fields, according to the South Korean Yonhap News Agency.

The delegation includes Lee Jae-Yong, vice chairman of Samsung Group; SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won; Kim Yong-hwan, vice president of Hyundai Motor Group; and LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo. Also on the list are Hyundai Group leader Hyun Jeong-Eun, POSCO Chairman Choi Jeong-woo and the local car-sharing service SoCar CEO, Lee Jae-ung.

The business figures are listed as special members of the entourage on top of the 14-member official delegation consisting of ministers, other senior government officials and presidential staff, reports Yonhap.

While Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, Defense Minister Song Young-moo and Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon will accompany Moon, Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon has been excluded.

“We thought it’s more important for him to focus on work here, including the real estate issue, ahead of the Chuseok holiday,” presidential chief of staff Im Jong-seok said at a press briefing, referring to the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving.

According to Yonhap, from the entertainment sector, rapper and producer Zico and singer Ailee have been invited to become part of the entourage.

The rapper, who is a member of K-pop boy band Block B, said that it is “a great honor” to be included in the list. “I will do my best to do what I am expected to do there,” he commented through his agency Seven Seasons.

Ailee also said she would do her best to perform well at the “meaningful” event where South and North Korea will carry out exchanges in various fields.

If reporters and TV crew are counted, the number of the entire delegation will be around 200, Im added.

It would be Moon’s third meeting with the North’s leader Kim, thus making him the first South Korean President to visit the North Korean capital in a decade.

Earlier Sunday (September 16), a group of more than 90 South Koreans travelled to North Korea to make final logistical preparations for the summit. The advance team of 93 government officials, technology-related staff and reporters, crossed the border on 19 buses. The team is led by Suh Ho, presidential secretary for unification policy.

Also joining Moon’s entourage, according to Yonhap, are such politicians as Lee Hae-chan, head of the ruling Democratic Party; Chung Dong-young, who leads the minor, liberal Party for Democracy and Peace; and Lee Jeong-mi, chief of the progressive Justice Party.

“Having the leaders of the parties together for the South-North summit for the first time is expected to create a new chance for national unity and the development of inter-Korean relations,” Moon’s office said. [IDN-InDepthNews – 17 September 2018]

Photo (left to right): North Korea’s Kim Jong-Un and South Korean President Moon Jae-in. Source: Wikimedia Commons.

IDN is flagship agency of the International Press Syndicate. –

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