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(2nd LD) N. Korean leader meets with S. Korean envoys: Cheong Wa Dae

All Headlines 18:13 March 05, 2018

(ATTN: CHANGES headline, lead; UPDATES with more information throughout)

SEOUL, March 5 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un hosted a welcome dinner for South Korean President Moon Jae-in's special envoys on Monday, Seoul's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae said.

"Chairman Kim Jong-un is currently hosting a dinner for the special envoys," Cheong Wa Dae spokesman Kim Eui-kyeom told a press briefing.

It is the first time the reclusive North Korean leader has met South Korean officials. The dinner began at 6 p.m.

The South Korean envoys arrived in Pyongyang at 2:50 p.m, about one hour after their departure from Seoul Air Base.

The North's state media earlier confirmed their arrival.

"The delegation of South Korean president's special envoys, including National Security Office Chief Chung Eui-yong, arrived in Pyongyang on March 5," the North's official Korean Central News Agency said in a short dispatch from the North Korean capital.

In a separate report, the North's Korean Central Broadcasting Station said the South Koreans were welcomed by Ri Son-gwon, chief of a North Korean agency in charge of inter-Korean affairs.

Ri visited South Korea as part of a high-delegation to the opening ceremony of the PyeongChang Winter Olympic Games held Feb. 9-25.

The South Korean delegation consists of five special envoys, including Suh Hoon, chief of the country's spy agency National Intelligence Service, and five support staff.

They are set to return home Tuesday.


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