South Korea’s top official on North Korea is in the United States to promote his president’s policy on reunification on the peninsula.
During the first visit by a unification minister since 2011, Ryoo Kihl-jae will meet in Washington with Acting Deputy Secretary of State Wendy Sherman, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Rep. Ed Royce, R-Calif., chair of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, according to South Korea’s Yonhap News.
Ryoo was also scheduled to meet with North Korean analysts, U.N. officials to discuss humanitarian aid for the North and Korean-American youth in Los Angeles before returning Sunday to Seoul, Yonhap said. No intinerary was released,
Ryoo is expected to provide a first-hand explanation of President Park Geun-hye’s policy of laying the groundwork for eventual reunification with the North through a series of trust-building measures.
A Unification Ministry spokesperson noted that the ministry is working to increase support for reunification among its “global partners,” including China, Japan and Russia. North Korea has also claimed that it wants reunification, declaring in October that it wanted to achieve reunification in 2015, though the implications of that declaration were unclear. The South Korean government said at the time that the North appeared to be preparing for a full-scale war.