High-ranking North Korean official to visit South in breakthrough visit

In a rare move, North Korea is expected to send its head of parliament Kim Yong-nam to Seoul later this week. The anticipated visit marks a breakthrough in the relations between the Koreas as Kim Yong-nam will be the highest-ranking official to ever visit the South.
South Korean official tests the cross-border hotline with North Korea Photo Credit: EPA-EFE

North Korea is expected to send its 90-year-old head of parliament Kim Yong-nam to the South on Friday in a breakthrough move, amid the two nations’  cooperation ahead of the 2018 Winter Olympics. The North Korean head-of-state will be the highest-ranking Pyongyang official to ever visit Seoul.

However, the optimism surrounding the upcoming Olympic Games remains shrouded by leader Kim Jong-un’s continued touting of his nuclear agenda. A day before the opening ceremony in the South, Pyongyang is reportedly preparing a largescale military parade during which it will display a range of missiles and military technology.

As previously reported by JOL, the international community continued to voice its concern regarding the dictatorship’s nuclear program. Japanese officials have said that North Korea might be using the talks to buy more time and mask its pursuit of nuclear weapons. Japan's Prime Minister Shinzo Abe called on the international community to continue to apply pressure on Pyongyang.

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