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Asian Games 2014: Senior North Korean officials arrive in South Korea for closing ceremony

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A delegation of three senior North Korean officials arrived in South Korea for the closing ceremony of this year’s Asian Games.

The North Korean visit in South Korea is seen as a rare opportunity for high-level talks.

The North Korean team is led by Hwang Pyong-so, who is considered to be the second most important official after leader Kim Jong-un.

Hwang Pyong-so is expected to meet South Korean Unification Minister Ryoo Kihl-jae and a senior security adviser.

The visit comes as speculation continues about the health of Kim Jong-un.

Kim Jong-un has not been seen in public since September 3. A recent official documentary showed him limping and being overweight.

Hwang Pyong-so is considered to be the second most important official in North Korea after leader Kim Jong-un

Hwang Pyong-so is considered to be the second most important official in North Korea after leader Kim Jong-un (photo AP)

The three North Korean officials arrived in the city of Incheon – the venue of the Asian Games.

They will take part in the closing ceremony of the major sporting event later on Saturday, October 4.

They are also expected to hold talks over lunch with Ryoo Kihl-jae and Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin before returning home.


Hwang Pyong-so is the top political officer at the Korean People’s Army. The other two officials are Choe Ryong-hae and Kim Yang-gon – key members of the ruling Workers’ Party.

Despite that harsh rhetoric of recent years, the visit indicates a desire for economically-pressed North Korea to have closer relations with the South.

The visit has also caused speculation about Kim Jong-un, who has been absent from public view for a month.

What the closest members of his inner circle tell the South Korean government will be analyzed to try to discern the health and views of Kim Jong-un back in Pyongyang.

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