Monday, April 30, 2018

South Korea's Spy Chief Is Playing A Key Role In The Current Round Of Peace Talks

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un shakes hands with Suh-hoon, South Korea's chief of the National Intelligence Service (NIS) at the truce village of Panmunjom inside the demilitarized zone separating the two Koreas, South Korea, April 27, 2018. Picture taken on April 27, 2018. Korea Summit Press Pool/Pool via Reuters

Reuters: South Korea's spy chief plays key role in historic meeting with North

Shedding tears behind South Korean President Moon Jae-in and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un after the two leaders announced a historic agreement on Friday was a man who has worked for two decades to set up unlikely dialogue between old enemies.

Nearly 18 years after Suh Hoon, a South Korean intelligence official, traveled to Pyongyang to persuade reclusive North Korean leader Kim Jong Il to hold an unprecedented first summit in the North Korean capital in 2000, he watched Kim’s son pledging peace on the Korean peninsula on Friday - this time just south of the heavily militarized border.

Friday was the first time any North Korean leader set foot on South Korean soil since the 1950-53 Korean War left the country divided and the two neighbors in a technical state of conflict.

The landmark encounter came less than a year after South Korea’s liberal president Moon took office and quickly tapped Suh as chief of the National Intelligence Service, saying he was “the right person” to revive inter-Korean ties strained over North Korea’s pursuit of nuclear-armed missiles.

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WNU editor: I can only imagine the back-door meetings, claudestine trips, and secret arrangements that must have occured to pull this off. And in the middle of all of this .... the intel chiefs and their organizations making sure that this happens.

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