Samsung heir among business leaders in S. Korea delegation

Samsung's Mr Lee Jae-yong (above) and other prominent figures in the economy, and in religion, culture and sports, will travel with President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang.
Samsung's Mr Lee Jae-yong and other prominent figures in the economy, and in religion, culture and sports, will travel with President Moon Jae-in to Pyongyang.

SEOUL • The heir to the Samsung empire and the leaders of several other South Korean conglomerates will go to Pyongyang this week for an inter-Korean summit, Seoul announced yesterday.

Samsung's Mr Lee Jae-yong and the heads of the SK and LG groups will be part of President Moon Jae-in's delegation as he heads for a meeting with the North's leader Kim Jong Un, Mr Moon's office said.

Mr Kim Yong-hwan, vice-chairman of Hyundai Motor Group - whose founder was a refugee from the North - will be among the entourage.

Ms Hyun Jeong-eun, chairman of the separate Hyundai Group which pioneered many cross-border economic projects, will also accompany President Moon. She has met Mr Kim's father Kim Jong Il several times. She was among the first South Koreans to meet the young leader when he assumed power following his father's death in 2011.

President Moon has advocated closer economic ties across the border, despite multiple sanctions on the North over its atomic weapons and ballistic missile programmes.

The delegation of about 200 includes top Seoul officials, including its spy chief, foreign minister and defence chief, as well as prominent figures in the economy, religion, culture and sports, Mr Moon's office said.

Mr Lee is the de facto leader of the Samsung group, by far the South's biggest conglomerate, which includes Samsung Electronics - the world's largest maker of smartphones and memory chips.

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 17, 2018, with the headline 'Samsung heir among business leaders in S. Korea delegation'. Print Edition | Subscribe