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Chung Eui-yong (center) and Suh Hoon (second left), and other delegators before boarding a plane to Pyongyang. Photo: Jung Yeon-je / AFP via Getty Images

North Korea's Kim Jong-un hosted a welcome dinner for two top aides to South Korean President Moon Jae-in on Monday, South Korea's Yonhap news agency reports, quoting Moon's spokesman.

Why it matters: The dinner marks the first time South Korean officials have met Kim since he took power six years ago, and was aimed at probing whether Kim is ready to negotiate the denuclearization of the North as well as restarting dialogue between North Korea and the United States.

Who was there: Moon’s national security adviser, Chung Eui-yong, and the director of the National Intelligence Service, Suh Hoon, represented the South.

"I plan to hold in-depth discussions on various ways to continue talks between not only the South and the North, but also the North and the United States and the international community."
— Chung during a press briefing shortly before his departure for Pyongyang.

Go deeper

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Venezuela's predictable elections herald an uncertain future

The watchful eyes of Hugo Chávez on an election poster in Caracas. Photo: Cristian Hernandez/AFP via Getty

Venezuelans will go to the polls on Sunday, Nicolás Maduro will complete his takeover of the last opposition-held body, and much of the world will refuse to recognize the results.

The big picture: The U.S. and dozens of other countries have backed an opposition boycott of the National Assembly elections on the grounds that — given Maduro's tactics (like tying jobs and welfare benefits to voting), track record, and control of the National Electoral Council — they will be neither free nor fair.

Biden plans to ask public to wear masks for first 100 days in office

Joe Biden. Photo: Mark Makela/Gettu Images

President-elect Joe Biden told CNN on Thursday that he plans to ask the American public to wear face masks for the first 100 days of his presidency.

The big picture: Biden also stated he has asked NIAID director Anthony Fauci to stay on in his current role, serve as a chief medical adviser and be part of his COVID-19 response team when he takes office early next year.