Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 18 September 2019

Kim Jong-un's sister to visit demilitarised zone between Koreas

Kim Yo-jong will visit the border to pay her respects to former South Korean First Lady who died on Monday

Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, is expected to meet South Korean officials on Wednesday. AP
Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un, is expected to meet South Korean officials on Wednesday. AP

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister will visit the demilitarised zone that separates the North from the South on Wednesday to pay condolences to former South Korean First Lady Lee Hee-ho.

Kim Yo-jong will visit the border village of Panmunjom in the evening, according to South Korea's Unification Ministry. She is expected to meet South Korean officials.

Ms Lee, 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.

Ms Kim'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.

Those talks have since stalled and inter-Korean engagement has dwindled.

Kim Dae-jung, president of South Korea from 1998 to 2003, is known for championing the so-called "sunshine policy" of engagement with North Korea. Last year's detente between the two countries 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 the South and North, including three summits between Mr Kim and South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

Ms Kim visited South Korea for the Winter Olympics in February 2018 and also accompanied her brother on the summits.

Updated: June 12, 2019 11:17 AM

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