The sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un will meet with South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday at the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang.
Kim Yo Jong, 28, will be accompanied by other North Korean delegates -- including North Korea’s nominal head of state, Kim Young Nam, chairman of the National Sports Guidance Committee Choe Hwi and Ri Son Gwon -- who coordinated talks between the North and the South last month.
Moon's spokesman, Kim Eui-kyeom, said the North Korean delegates will attend the Games' opening ceremony on Friday evening. The spokesman says Moon will hold a luncheon with the North Korean delegates Saturday but didn't provide an exact time and location.
Kim Yo Jong will be the first member of North Korea's ruling family to visit the South since the 1950-53 Korean War. Some interpret her inclusion in the visiting delegation as a demonstration of the North’s willingness to diffuse tension over its nuclear program.
Moon, in particular, has shown more willingness than his predecessor to mend relations with the North. He has indicated a willingness to reopen Kaesong Industrial Park, an industrial center that was largely financed by the South and one of the last places of peaceful engagement between the two Koreas. But as tensions simmered amid the North’s nuclear missile program, South Korea ceased the park's operations.
The ministry said it would discuss reopening the park, “when the North Korean nuclear issue has to some extent entered a phase of a resolution.”
Another project, reportedly up for discussion, is Mount Kumgang, a region in the North once open for tourists from the South. But tours to the region ended when a South Korean tourist was shot in 2008 by a North Korean guard.
On Thursday, South Korea’s unification ministry said it was open to allowing tours to resume if the North would guarantee tourists’ safety, and the North met conditions relating to its ongoing nuclear program, Reuters reported.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.