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(LEAD) Moon welcomes N. Korea's ceremonial head of state at Olympic reception

All Headlines 17:56 February 09, 2018

(ATTN: UPDATES with additional information from 5th para; ADDS photo)

SEOUL, Feb. 9 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Friday greeted North Korea's ceremonial head of state Kim Yong-nam, the highest-ranking North Korean official to visit South Korea.

The brief meeting came in Yongpyeong, a town located just east of PyeongChang, the host city of the 2018 Winter Olympic Games.

Moon hosted a reception dinner for heads of state and other global leaders there for the opening of the Winter Olympics.

The two shook hands before having their photograph taken together as part of the protocol for an event hosted by the South Korean leader, according to pool reports.

South Korean President Moon Jae-in (C) shakes hands with Kim Yong-nam, North Korea's ceremonial head of state who is currently leading a 22-member official delegation to the opening of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games. The two later attended a reception dinner held in Yongpyeong, 200 kilometers east of Seoul, before the opening of the Winter Olympic Games on Feb. 9, 2018. (Yonhap)

The reception involved around 200 other people, including 20 heads of state and global leaders such as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.

Kim arrived in South Korea earlier in the day as the head of a 22-member North Korean delegation to the PyeongChang Olympics. The high-profile delegation also included North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's younger sister, Yo-jong.

Both Kim Yong-nam and Kim Yo-jong were expected to attend a Saturday meeting with Moon, possibly at Moon's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae in Seoul.


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