Peace on the Korean peninsula is a lofty goal. Now, the parties at the negotiating table will have the help of two heavyweights: a pair of white North Korean Pungsan dogs that North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent South Korean president Moon Jae-in.
Pungsan dogs, which are named after a North Korean county, are known for their loyalty and cleverness. They are hunting dogs with thick, creamy white coats, pointy ears and hazel eyes.
Reuters reports that Kim proposed the idea of the canine presents during the two leaders’ mid-September summit in Pyongyang, the third of its kind this year. In a statement today (Sept. 30), Moon’s office said that the dogs crossed the demilitarized zone (DMZ) and into South Korea on Thursday. The dogs, both about one-year old, were handed over in the truce village of Panmunjom, along with dog food to “help with their adaptation,” according to The Japan Times.
This marks the second time a North Korean leader has sent a pair of Pungsan dogs to a South Korean leader. According to Reuters, “in 2000, late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, father of Kim Jong Un, sent two Pungsan dogs to then-South Korean president Kim Dae-jung when they held the first inter-Korean summit.”
The gift is the latest sign of a thaw in relations between the two Koreas, who recently announced that they will jointly bid for the 2032 Olympics. During this month’s summit, Kim agreed to plans to shutter a missile testing site and visit Seoul.