A special plane carrying South Korean President Moon Jae-in's special envoys on Monday left for Pyongyang on a mission to mediate talks between the United States and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK).
The plane carrying the 10-member special delegation departed from an airport in Seongnam, outside of the capital Seoul, at about 2:00 p.m. local time (0500 GMT), local TV footage showed.
The white passenger jet will fly via a western direct route to the Sunan International Airport in Pyongyang.
The delegation, composed of five emissaries and five working-level officials, was led by Chung Eui-yong, top national security adviser for President Moon and head of the National Security Office of the Blue House.
Also included in the delegation were Suh Hoon, director of the National Intelligence Service (NIS), the country's spy agency, Vice Unification Minister Chun Hae-sung, Second Deputy NIS Director Kim Sang-gyun, and Yun Kun-young, a senior Blue House official.
Before leaving for Pyongyang, Chung told reporters that he will convey to the DPRK side President Moon's firm will and resolution to denuclearize the Korean Peninsula and build a genuine, lasting peace on the peninsula.
The chief delegate said the emissaries will have in-depth discussion on ways to continue a variety of dialogues between the DPRK and the international community, including the United States, as well as inter-Korean talks.
The Blue House indicated that the delegation's key mission was to broker talks between Pyongyang and Washington.
During their two-day trip, the South Korean envoys will hold talks with senior DPRK officials about issues especially on conditions to be created for any U.S.-DPRK dialogue, the Blue House said Sunday.
After returning to Seoul, the envoys will brief President Moon on their DPRK visit, and then will visit Washington to explain to the U.S. side about the outcome of the talks.