Asia Pacific

Paws for peace: North Korea's Kim sends two dogs across DMZ

AFP-JIJI

President Moon Jae-in received a pair of North Korean indigenous hunting dogs from Pyongyang, his office said Sunday, the latest token of the rapidly blossoming friendship on the peninsula.

“Cheong Wa Dae (the presidential office) was offered a pair of Pungsan dogs from the North as a gift at the North-South summit and received them Thursday,” Moon’s office said in a statement.

The canines, both aged around one, were handed over via the truce village of Panmunjom with 3 kg of dog food to “help with their adaptation,” it added.

Known for its loyalty and cleverness, the Pungsan breed — a hunting dog with a thick, creamy white coat, pointy ears and hazel eyes — is one of North Korea’s national treasures.

The canine gifts come after last month’s meeting between Moon and North Korea leader Kim Jong Un in Pyongyang, at which Kim agreed to plans to shutter a missile testing site and visit Seoul.

North and South Korea also announced that they will jointly bid for the 2032 Olympics.

Former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung also received a pair of Pungsan pups after his landmark summit in Pyongyang in 2000 with then North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

The dogs were kept at the Seoul Grand Park and both died of natural causes in 2013 after giving birth to 21 puppies.

The newly arrived pooches will reside at the presidential office with Moon — an animal lover who already owns a Pungsan dog named Maru, a former shelter cat called Jjing-Jjing, and Tory, a black mutt he adopted after taking office.