South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korean leader Kim Jong-un will sit down for a historic summit Friday and will be accompanied by the most powerful officials from both countries. 200 kilometers separate them from Pan Mun-jom, the place where they will meet the South Korean delegation. Kim Jong-un will cross the border at 9.30 a.m. Korean Time. As of the 26th April, The KCNA (the North Korean press agency) is not providing information related to the « historical » trip of Kim Jong-un.
Delegates who will accompany their leaders through the inter-Korean summit are considered those who are deeply aware of the overall atmosphere in the Korean Peninsula.
Composition of the North Korean delegation (except Kim Jong-un) in terms of relevancy
A notable absent is the wife of Kim Jong-un: Ri Sol-ju. Nevertheless, maybe on a last-minute basis, she will accompanied her husband to South Korea. (Update: Ri Sol-ju was present at the farewell dinner).
— Kim Yong-nam, North Korea’s nominal head of state, played a major role in steering Seoul and Pyongyang to a peace mood.
— Kim Yo-jong, the influential younger sister of Kim Jong-un, serves as director of propaganda and agitation for the Department of the Workers’ Party of Korea. She came into the limelight early this year while leading the North’s delegation to the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics and delivering Kim’s handwritten letter to President Moon. Washington imposed sanctions on Kim Yo-jong in 2016.
— Kim Yong-chol, vice chairman of the ruling Workers’ Party of Koreas, is known to be another powerful elite in Pyongyang. He took a leading part in bringing « spring to the Korean peninsula » after his visit during the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. Kim was a chief military negotiator during 2006 and 2008 inter-Korean talks, but is also labeled the most dangerous North Korean general by the South because he was in charge of the Reconnaissance General Bureau when a South Korean naval ship was attacked in 2010. The South Korean intelligence agency has said the North Koreans were to blame; the North has since denied any involvement. Washington imposed sanctions on Kim Yong-chol in 2010 and 2015, and Seoul did the same in 2016.
— Choe Hwi, vice Chairman for Workers’ and Social Organizations and Chairman of the State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission. He was a member of a high-level delegation Olympics Pyeongchang Winter Olympics. South Korea asked the U.N. Security Council’s North Korea sanctions committee for an exemption to allow Choe Hwi. Choe Hwi is close to Ri Sol-ju, the wife of Kim Jong-un as he was involved in the establishment of the Unhasu Orchestra and the Moranbong Band, where sang Ri Sol-ju.
— Ri Son-gwon, a military official who is also the chairman of the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Country, also known as the right-hand man of Kim Yong-chol, was a member of the high-level delegation to the Winter Olympics. Ri was the chief delegate of North Korea during the first high-level talks between two Koreas in January. He left the conference venue in 2011 during a military working-level talk with South Korean counterparts. He’s a close associate to Kim Yong-chol.
— Ri Myong-su, the chief of the general staff of the Korean People’s Army, started his military career during the Korean War. The 84-year-old general was formerly responsible for the daily operational management of the DPRK’s naval, ground, air and anti-air forces. He was a close friend to the deceased Kim Jong-il, and represents the old guard of NK politicians.
— Ri Yong-ho, North Korea’s foreign minister, is known as a skillful negotiator. He had talks in the past regarding North Korean nuclear program with the U.S. He was in the past a diplotmat based in Sweden. He’s fluent in english and soften the terrorist nature of the North Korean regime. He regularly ridicules Donald Trump. Ri Yong-ho’s children are managing companies in Pyongyang.
— Ri Su-yong, vice party chairman on international affairs. In spite of his illness, he is still an official secret spokesman in talks with the Western world and is known as one of the most influential person in the making decisions. He’s considered as being the accountant of the Kim family and personnally took care about the education of Kim Jong-un in Switzerland. Ri Su-yong is sanctioned by the resolution 1718 of the UN Security Council. Ri Su-yong is rather considered as a businessman than a diplomat.
— Pak Yong-sik, the minister of North Korea’s armed forces. Pak Yong-sik is also sanctioned by the UN Security Council.
South Korean delegation in terms of relevancy (except Moon Jae-in)
— Chung Eui-yong, national security advisor, who visited Pyongyang early this year as an envoy. He is regarded in South Korea as the mastermind behind the inter-Korean rapprochement. Chung also personally delivered Kim’s message to President Trump at the White House last month.
— Cho Myoung-gyon, unification minister, participated in both 2000 and 2007 inter-Korean summit and played a key role in the preparation of the upcoming summit.
— Im Jong-seok, chief Presidential Secretary for President of South Korea Moon Jae-in. Im is known to be the closest aide to President Moon. A former student activist, Im has been criticized by the opposition as left-leaning and pro-North, and for steering South Korea dangerously closer to the communist Pyongyang.
— Song Young-moo, Defense Minister
— Kang Kyung-wha, Foreign Minister
— Jeong Kyeong-doo, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who was added last Thursday.