SEOUL • South Korea's biggest conglomerate chiefs, K-pop stars and a magician were part of a 200-strong delegation accompanying South Korean President Moon Jae-in to the third inter-Korean summit in Pyongyang.
Among them were Mr Lee Jae-yong, heir to South Korea's No. 1 family-run business, Samsung, and LG Corp chairman Koo Kwang-mo, the fourth-generation leader of the country's fourth-largest business group, who took office in June. When asked if he had made sufficient preparations ahead of the visit to Pyongyang, Mr Koo nodded "yes".
Ms Hyun Jeong-eun, chairman of Hyundai Group, Mr Park Yong-maan, chairman of the Korea Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and CJ Group chairman Sohn Kyung-shik were also among the delegates.
Mr Sohn briefly mentioned that the group might consider launching "some cultural and food businesses" in the North.
Most of the business delegates remained extremely careful to avoid discussing potential business opportunities in North Korea, which is still the target of international sanctions imposed by the United Nations Security Council.
The presidential office acknowledged that the business leaders' Pyongyang trip was an opportunity for them to prepare for the future, rather than to establish business operations in the North immediately.
"Under the current circumstances, there will be some areas that can be discussed and areas that can't be," Mr Yoon Young-chan, senior secretary to the President for public communication, said during a briefing. "It is also difficult to say whether it is about time to lift the sanctions."
Singers Zico, Ailee and Ali were among artists in the delegation. The celebrities were seen arriving at Seoul Air Base in Seongnam, Gyeonggi province.
Zico opted for a clean-cut look in a navy suit, while Ailee wore a blue dress as the two got ready to board the presidential plane. Ali, who will be performing for a second time in Pyongyang, after the previous inter-Korean summit in April, sported a beige jacket with jeans.
Magician Choi Hyun-woo was also part of the high-profile group.
KOREA HERALD/ASIA NEWS NETWORK