September 18, 2018 11:57
An advance team of South Korean officials led by Suh Ho, the presidential secretary for unification policy, arrived in the Pyongyang on Sunday to prepare for President Moon Jae-in's three-day visit.
Two bullet-proof Mercedes-Benzes taken from Seoul to Pyongyang for Moon's use were parked in front of Paekhwawon, North Korea's state guesthouse, their license plates covered up.
The North Korean buses carrying them could not drive faster than 60 km/h due to the potholes that riddled the roads to Pyongyang due to recent heavy rains, so it took them more than three hours to drive the 170 km from Kaesong to Pyongyang.
There were hardly any other vehicles on the roads, and a gas station near the Kaesong Industrial Complex looked shuttered.
The team spent Monday surveying the routes Moon will be taking in Pyongyang. One member said, "The atmosphere in Pyongyang was calm and there were no signs posted publicizing the visit." The main press center for South Korean journalists opened on the second floor of the Koryo Hotel at noon.
Meanwhile, the North's official Rodong Sinmun daily said on Monday, "The North and South must boldly pioneer new paths toward peace, prosperity and unification by combining their wisdom and strength while cherishing the achievements of the historic declaration" signed by the leaders of the two Koreas at their first summit in the truce village of Panmunjom earlier this year.
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