Among the 100-strong entourage Mr Kim Jong Un has brought to Singapore for his summit with US President Donald Trump on Tuesday (June 12) is a pretty face who has played an important role in North Korea’s rapprochement with South Korea. And it’s not his sister.
Ms Hyon Song Wol, the leader of the communist country’s Samjiyon Orchestra who was at the forefront of recent inter-Korea cultural exchanges, has been spotted in Singapore after the arrival of Mr Kim’s posse from Beijing on Sunday (June 10).
Dressed in black and wearing sunglasses, Ms Hyon was spotted at the lobby of the St Regis Hotel where Mr Kim is staying.
It is not clear what role she will play in Singapore, but Ms Hyon has spearheaded Mr Kim’s charm offensive since the beginning of the year.
Mr Kim, who oversaw numerous missile tests by his military, has engaged in a flurry of diplomacy this year, holding two meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae In and two with China’s Xi Jinping, leading to Tuesday’s first-ever summit between a North Korean leader and a sitting US President.
It began in January, when Mr Kim offered in his New Year message to send a delegation to take part in the Winter Olympics in the South Korean city of Pyeongchang the following month.
Three weeks later, a North Korean delegation led by Ms Hyon Song Wol, a popular female singer who fronts the popular Moranbong girlband, travelled by train to Seoul to discuss the issue.