North and South Korea summit: Who’s who in each delegation
Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images(NEW YORK) — South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will sit down for a historic summit Friday and will be accompanied by the most powerful officials from both countries.
The list comprises of all related parties who have worked out a meticulous process to materialize this summit into “spring of Korean Peninsula,” according to the South’s presidential office.
Delegates who will accompany their leaders through the inter-Korean summit are considered those who are deeply aware of the overall atmosphere in the Korean Peninsula. Compared to the past two summits in 2000 and 2007, military experts are included in the delegation.
Here’s a look at who’s who attending the inter-Korean summit:
North Korean delegation
— Kim Yong-nam, North Korea’s nominal head of state, played a major role in steering Seoul and Pyongyang to a peace mood.
— Kim Yo-jong, the influential younger sister of Kim Jong-un, serves as director of propaganda and agitation for the Department of the Workers’ Party of Korea. She came into the limelight early this year while leading the North’s delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and delivering Kim’s handwritten letter to President Moon.
— Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party of Koreas, is known to be another powerful elite in Pyongyang. He took a leading part in bringing “spring to the Korean peninsula” after his visit during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Kim was a chief military negotiator during 2006 and 2008 inter-Korean talks, but is also labeled the most dangerous North Korean general by the South because he was in charge of the Reconnaissance General Bureau when a South Korean naval ship was attacked in 2010. The South Korean intelligence agency has said the North Koreans were to blame; the North has since denied any involvement.
— Choe Hwi, vice party chairman and the chief of the national sports body, was part of a high-level delegation teaOlympics Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Managing sports-related policies is of considerable importance within the North Korean regime. Analysts say Choe played an important role in garnering Communist Party support for Kim Jong-un shortly after he came into power.
— Ri Son-gwon, chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, also known as the right-hand man of Kim Yong-chol, was a member of the high-level delegation to the Winter Olympics. Ri was the chief delegate of North Korea during the first high-level talks between two Koreas in January. He left the conference venue in 2011 during a military working-level talk with South Korean counterparts. But Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon of South Korea told the South Korean press that Ri’s negotiation attitude has changed from the past.
— Ri Myong-su, the chief of the general staff of the Korean People’s Army, started his military career during the Korean War. The 84-year-old general was formerly responsible for the daily operational management of the DPRK’s naval, ground, air and anti-air forces.
— Ri Yong-ho, North Korea’s foreign minister, is known as a skillful negotiator. He had talks in the past regarding North Korean nuclear program with the U.S.
— Ri Su-yong, vice party chairman on international affairs. He is the spokesman in talks with the U.S. and is known as one of the most influential person in the making decisions.
— Park Yong-sik, the minister of North Korea’s armed forces.
South Korean delegation
— Chung Eui-yong, national security advisor, who visited Pyongyang early this year as an envoy. He is regarded in South Korea as the mastermind behind the inter-Korean rapprochement. Chung also personally delivered Kim’s message to President Trump at the White House last month.
— Suh Hoon, national intelligence service director, is deeply involved in proceeding the summit along with Chung. Media reports say he also helped coordinate the deal through close consultations with his American counterpart, Mike Pompeo, then-Director of the Central Intelligence Agency.
— Cho Myoung-gyon, unification minister, participated in both 2000 and 2007 inter-Korean summit and played a key role in the preparation of the upcoming summit.
— Im Jong-seok, presidential chief of staff, is known to be the closest aide to President Moon. A former student activist, Im has been criticized by the opposition as left-leaning and pro-North, and for steering South Korea dangerously closer to the communist Pyongyang.
“North’s choice of official entourage show their consideration in further talks with the upcoming U.S and international talks,” Im Jong-seok, South’s presidential chief of staff, said during a press briefing Thursday at the inter-Korean summit press center.
— Song Young-moo, Defense Minister
— Kang Kyung-wha, Foreign Minister
— Jeong Kyeong-doo, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was added last Thursday.
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