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Top North Korea Officials Pay Surprise Visit To South Korea

North and South Korea agreed to hold another round of highest-level talks as top Northern officials paid a surprise visit to the South on Saturday amid the recent fiery exchange of derogatory comments between the two countries. The visitors included the second and third in command after Kim Jong-Un.

The rare trip was the first high-level visit in more than five years and comes amid the speculation about the health of Kim, who has not been seen in public for more than a month, The Washington Post reported.

The 11-member North Korean delegation, led by Hwang Pyong So, considered as the second in command of the reclusive state, met with South Korean Unification Minister Ryoo Kil-jae, National Security Office head Kim Kwan-jin and other senior officials for lunch, The Wall Street Journal reported.

Before the meeting, North Korea top sports official Choe Ryong Hae acknowledged South Korea’s “big help” to Northern players during the Asian games.

“I take pride that sports seems to be at the forefront of affairs leading to (potential) unification,” Choe shown as saying on South Korean television.

They also met South Korean Prime Minister Chung Hong-won, who was obviously delighted with the visit and hoped that it will improve the strained relations of the two countries. “I hope that it will lead to South-North cooperation and exchanges,” he told the Northern delegations.

The two parties agreed to conduct another series of talks that will likely happen in late October or early November. North Korea also expressed willingness to continue discussion with the South, the South Korea’s Unification Ministry said in a statement.

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