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(3rd LD) Samsung, Hyundai, SK, LG leaders to join President Moon's Pyongyang visit

2018/09/16 18:43

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(ATTN: UPDATES with visitors details from paras 9-11)

SEOUL, Sept. 16 (Yonhap) -- South Korean President Moon Jae-in will visit Pyongyang this week, along with several conglomerate leaders, his office announced Sunday.

Cheong Wa Dae said Moon's entourage will be composed of 52 government officials, politicians, business leaders and selected representatives from various other fields.

They include Lee Jae-Yong, vice chairman of Samsung Group; SK Group Chairman Chey Tae-won; Kim Yong-hwan, vice president of Hyundai Motor Group; and LG Group Chairman Koo Kwang-mo.

Also on the list are Hyundai Group leader Hyun Jeong-Eun, POSCO Chairman Choi Jeong-woo and the local car-sharing service SoCar CEO, Lee Jae-ung.

The business figures are listed as special members of the entourage on top of the 14-member official delegation consisting of ministers, other senior government officials and presidential staff.

Im Jong-seok, President Moon Jae-in's chief of staff, announces the list of the entourage for Moon's trip to Pyongyang at Cheong Wa Dae on Sept. 16, 2018. (Yonhap) Im Jong-seok, President Moon Jae-in's chief of staff, announces the list of the entourage for Moon's trip to Pyongyang at Cheong Wa Dae on Sept. 16, 2018. (Yonhap)

Foreign Minister Kang Kyung-wha, Defense Minister Song Young-moo and Unification Minister Cho Myoung-gyon will accompany Moon.

Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon has been excluded.

"We thought it's more important for him to focus on work here, including the real estate issue, ahead of the Chuseok holiday," presidential chief of staff Im Jong-seok said at a press briefing, referring to the Korean equivalent of Thanksgiving.

From the entertainment sector, rapper and producer Zico and singer Ailee have been invited to become part of the entourage.

The rapper, who is a member of K-pop boy band Block B, said late Sunday that it is "a great honor" to be included in the list. "I will do my best to do what I am expected to do there," he commented through his agency Seven Seasons.

Ailee also said she would do her best to perform well at the "meaningful" event where South and North Korea will carry out exchanges in various fields.

If reporters and TV crew are counted, the number of the entire delegation will be around 200, Im added.

Moon is scheduled to visit Pyongyang from Tuesday till Thursday for what would be his third meeting with the North's leader Kim Jong-un.

He's to become the first South Korean president to visit the North Korean capital in a decade.

Earlier Sunday, a group of more than 90 South Koreans traveled to North Korea to make final logistical preparations for the summit.

The advance team of 93 government officials, technology-related staff and reporters, crossed the border on 19 buses.

The team is led by Suh Ho, presidential secretary for unification policy.

Also joining Moon's entourage are such politicians as Lee Hae-chan, head of the ruling Democratic Party; Chung Dong-young, who leads the minor, liberal Party for Democracy and Peace; and Lee Jeong-mi, chief of the progressive Justice Party.

"Having the leaders of the parties together for the South-North summit for the first time is expected to create a new chance for national unity and the development of inter-Korean relations," Cheong Wa Dae said.

South Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. (Yonhap) South Korea's presidential office Cheong Wa Dae. (Yonhap)

lcd@yna.co.kr

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