North Korean general wrapped up controversial visit to South

Vastavam web: A powerful North Korean general today wrapped up his visit to the South as part of an Olympics charm offensive by Pyongyang that has drawn angry protests calling for his arrest.General Kim Yong Chol, who is in charge of inter-Korean affairs for the ruling Workers’ Party, made a rare trip to the South to attend Sunday’s closing ceremony of the Winter Olympics.North Korean leader Kim Jong Un sent his sister to the opening ceremony before sending Kim Yong Chol, although both had no known interaction with US delegates including Vice President Mike Pence and President Donald Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.

The general, wrapping up his three-day visit, had a meeting with Seoul’s intelligence chief Suh Hoon and unification minister Cho Myoung-gyon on Tuesday morning, Cho’s ministry said.TV footage showed the general leaving a Seoul hotel where he and seven other delegates had been staying and getting into a sedan on their way to the border.

President Moon Jae-in, in a meeting with Kim Yong Chol on Sunday, urged Pyongyang to open dialogue with the US as soon as possible — to which Kim responded by saying the North was “very willing” to hold talks.But Washington ruled out any possibility of talks before Pyongyang – which last year staged multiple missile and nuclear tets — takes steps towards denuclearisation.Analysts say the North’s overtures are intended to loosen sanctions imposed over its weapons programmes, and to weaken the alliance between Seoul and its security guarantor, the US.

Kim is accused of masterminding several attacks on the South including a 2010 sinking of a South Korean warship that killed 46 sailors, for which the North has denied responsibility.