The widow of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung has travelled to the North, hoping to ease tensions on the Korean peninsula.
It is unclear whether Lee Hee-ho, who is on a private trip, will be able to meet top North Korean officials, including leader Kim Jong-un.
In 2000, Dae-jung held inter-Korean reconciliation talks – later winning a Nobel Peace Prize for his efforts. The two Koreas are technically still at war.
Dae-jung, who died in 2009, was a supporter of rapprochement with Pyongyang. The summit between him and Kim Jong-un’s father, and former leader Kim Jong-il, led to a time of relatively better relations between the two Koreas. “Lee voiced hope that the two Koreas could heal pain and wounds from a 70-year-long inter-Korean division and promote reconciliation and co-operation, ” said Kim Sung-jae, from the Kim Dae-jung Peace Centre which organised the trip, according to Yonhap news agency. “She expressed wishes that this visit could pave the way for continuous dialogue, exchanges and co-operation between the two Koreas.”
However, the BBC’s Stephen Evans in Seoul says the visit seems unlikely to unthaw relations, particularly while Kim Jong-un pursues nuclear weapons.
Mrs Lee’s official itinerary says she will visit a maternity clinic, an orphanage and a children’s hospital.