North Korea’s secret weapon? Kim Jong-un prepares to send sister to DMZ

Kim Yo Jong will pay her condolences to former South Korean First Lady Lee Hee-ho, who died on Monday. She was the widow of Kim Dae-jung, who became the first South Korean leader to meet Kim Jong Il – the current leader’s father. The visit is seen as a further move towards normalised relations between the two nations – and comes soon after Washington’s calls for more nuclear talks.

In a further diplomatic twist, South Korea’s Unification Ministry say the Supreme Leader’s sister will meet officials later that evening in the border village of Panmunjom.

Kim Yo Jong entered the international spotlight last year when she attended the 2018 Winter Olympics opening ceremony in Pyeongchang – representing the first time a member of the Kim dynasty had visited South Korea since the Korean War.

Working as a special envoy for her brother, she was also part of his negotiating team during the two nuclear summits in Singapore and Hannoi – and was recently elected to the Supreme People’s Assembly.

The move will be welcome news to those who praised Kim Jong-Un’s summit with US President Donald Trump a year ago.

Though talks stalled, the first meeting between the two countries in Singapore was seen as an international diplomatic triumph as both sought to work towards the denuclearisation of the Korean peninsula.

Both sides have maintained the attitude that resuming the talks is entirely possible.

Hawkish White House national security adviser John Bolton said yesterday that the US was waiting on Pyongyang for the next stage in negotiations.

He said: “Kim Jong Un holds the key.

“We are ready when they are, so it’s any time that they want to schedule it.”

Having spoken warmly about his counterpart in the past, US President Donald Trump said he received another “beautiful letter” from Kim Jong-Un.

He added: “I can’t show you the letter, obviously, but it was a very personal, very warm, very nice letter – I appreciate it.

“North Korea has tremendous potential, and he’ll be there.”

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