02/05/2018, 09.15
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Kim Yong-nam at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Olympics

This is an opportunity for high-level dialogue and proof of the goodwill of the North. Kim Yong-nam is the most important figure to cross the border since 1953.

Seoul (AsiaNews / Agencies) - Kim Yong-nam, North Korean ceremonial leader and president of the Supreme People's Assembly will be presented at the opening ceremony of the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. The unprecedented event was announced today, in a context of high-level talks between the two Koreas.

As the most important figure to cross the border since the 1953 war, although his role as the head of the state is symbolic, he is not on the UN and US blacklist because he is not involved in the North Korean missile and nuclear program.

Kim will lead to a high-level delegation of 22 people, and should stay in South Korea for three days, between February 9 and 11.

For the Seoul presidential office, the ceremonial leader it is a chance to create "opportunities" for dialogue and the demonstration of Pyongyang's goodwill. "[The visit] shows North Korea's commitment to better inter-Korean relations and the success of the Olympics," says Blue Palace spokeswoman Kim Eui-kyeom. The spokesman added that the North Korean leader could have a direct meeting with the South Korean President Moon Jae-in.

US Vice President Mike Pence, Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and other world leaders will also attend the opening ceremony.

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