October 07, 2014 09:45
North Korean media have been low-key in their reporting of a heavyweight delegation's surprise visit to South Korea on Saturday.
The delegation was led by Hwang Pyong-so, a vice chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission and included Workers Party Secretary Choe Ryong-hae and Kim Yang-gon, the head of the United Front Department.
They attended the closing ceremony of the Asian Games in Incheon and met with South Korean officials.
The first report by the official [North] Korean Central News Agency came promptly at 9 a.m. Saturday, but it has been silent since.
On the front page on Sunday, the official Rodong Sinmun carried a brief story about the delegation's departure from Pyongyang for Incheon on Saturday morning, but nothing about their activities here.
Central TV reported in the 8 o'clock news on Sunday evening that Choe and Kim welcomed North Korean athletes back from the Asian Games.
Only the Chosun Sinbo, a Pyongyang mouthpiece in Japan, reported that the delegation's visit to South Korea "provided momentum for the improvement in inter-Korean relations," while attributing their trip to "leader Kim Jong-un's resolute decision."
The reason for the muted reports "is probably that the delegation failed to produce any tangible result that the regime could have given Kim Jong-un credit for," speculates Park Hyeong-jung of the Korea Institute for National Unification.
Meanwhile, Pyongyang has decided not to take part after all in the 61st World Military Pentathlon Championship in Yeongcheon, North Gyeongsang Province that kicks off on Wednesday. The North cited injuries of some athletes.
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