In new peace initiative after Winter Olympics, South Korean officials leave for North Korea

Chung Eui-yong, head of the presidential National Security Office, Suh Hoon, the chief of the South's National Intelligence Service, and other delegators pose before boarding an aircraft as they leave for Pyongyang. Photograph:( AFP )

WION Web Team Seoul, South Korea Mar 05, 2018, 07.16 AM (IST)

Top South Korean officials left for North Korea today as the North-South "friendship" wave in the aftermath of the "peace games" in Pyeongchang gained momentum on Monday.

North's Korean leader Kim Jong Un's sister Kim Yo Jong had visited South Korea during the Winter Games a fortnight ago as the two nations sought to move away from controversies to focus on new peace initiatives.

Kim Yo Jong had invited South Korean president Moon Jae-in to North Korea even as the US had kept itself away from Kim's sister.

"We plan to hold in-depth discussions for ways to continue not only inter-Korean talks but dialogue between North Korea and the international community including the United States," Chung Eui-yong, South Korea's national security advisor who is leading the delegation said.

Chung is accompanied by five other senior officials as they try to engage with the North Korean regime which has seen months of standoff between the US and North Korea over the nuclear issue.

"We will deliver President Moon's firm resolution to denuclearise the Korean peninsula and to create sincere and lasting peace," Chung added.

This is the first ministerial-level South Korean visit to the North since December 2007, when Seoul's intelligence chief travelled to Pyongyang.