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08:21, 25 March 2018 Sunday
Update: 14:39, 04 March 2018 Sunday

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S. Korea's Moon to send special envoys to North
S. Korea's Moon to send special envoys to North

The delegation, announced by Moon's office on Sunday, is the latest chapter in a remarkable Olympics-driven detente between the two Koreas.

World Bulletin / News Desk

South Korean President Moon Jae-in will send a team of special envoys -- including Seoul's spy chief -- to the North on Monday to push for talks between Washington and Pyongyang on nuclear weapons.

An intense rapprochement saw the two foes march together at the South's Pyeongchang Winter Olympics that ended February 25, with the North's leader Kim Jong Un sending his sister as a special envoy to the event.

Kim Yo Jong's appearance at the Games' opening ceremony made global headlines, marking the first visit to the South by a member of the Kim family since the end of the Korean war.

Moon has sought to use the Pyeongchang Games to open dialogue between Washington and Pyongyang in the hopes of easing a nuclear standoff that has heightened fears over global security.

He chose five senior officials -- including national security advisor Chung Eui-yong and spy chief Suh Hoon -- to visit Pyongyang on Monday, Moon's spokesman said.

Suh is a veteran in dealings with the North. He is known to have been deeply involved in negotiations to arrange two previous inter-Korean summits in 2000 and 2007.

"The special delegates will have extensive discussions over issues including creating conditions for North-US talks to denuclearise the Korean peninsula and improving inter-Korea ties," Yoon Young-chan told reporters.

The 10-member group -- five top delegates and five supporting officials -- would fly to the North's capital Pyongyang Monday afternoon and return to Seoul on Tuesday, Yoon said.

Other members include Suh's deputy at the National Intelligence Service as well as Chun Hae-sung, the vice minister of Seoul's unification ministry, which handles cross-border affairs.

They will meet with "high-level North Korean officials" during the two-day trip, and then fly to the US to explain the result of the talks to officials in Washington, Yoon added.

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