Lee Hui-ho, the widow of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung will visit North Korea for four days starting August 5.
The schedule was decided upon during meetings at Kaesong yesterday.
Last Tuesday, Kim Sung-jae, head of the Kim Dae-jung Peace Center visited Kaesong to meet North Korean representatives, and suggested a four-day visit within a month’s time.
“Considering Madam Lee’s health problem, Kim Jong Un suggested visit North Korea by air,” Kim Sung-jae told reporters upon his return from Kaesong.
Lee will visit a kindergarten and medical care center for children in Pyongyang.
Kim Jong Un invited Lee in winter last year. Her visit was cancelled twice, once because of her health, and later when the North postponed it.
The Ministry of Unification (MOU), on Monday said it would examine Lee’s visit comprehensively.
“Of course, the MOU has fully supports Madam Lee’s visit to North, but will examine (the application) after receiving rest schedules,” Jeong Jun-hui, MOU spokesperson said at the regular press briefing yesterday.
One expert was skeptical the meeting would result in noticeable changes in inter-Korean relations.
“As Lee has met Kim Jong Un before, I guess there is no reason that Kim Jong Un wouldn’t meet her. However, I am skeptical that this meeting will have any ripple effects, mainly due to the (UN) Human Rights Office issues,” Cheong Seong-chang, head of the Unification Strategy team at the Sejong Institute told NK News.
The UN Human Rights Office, meant to monitor and document the human rights situation in North Korea, opened in Seoul in late June.
Cheong also pointed out the opposing tendencies of the current government and former president Kim Dae-jung’s administration on inter-Korean relations. “Even though Madam Lee conveys a certain message to the DPRK government, it might not be meaningfully considered by the current South Korean government.”
Featured image: Kim Dae-jung Peace Center Archives