Former Norwegian Prime Minister Gro Harlem Brundtland was part of a group of retired state leaders who traveled to North Korea this week, to try to talk to the isolated country’s own elder leader Kim Jong-il.
Brundtland, former US President Jimmy Carter and the former presidents of Finland and Ireland, Martti Ahtisaari and Mary Robinson, hope to persuade Kim and his son Kim Jong-un, to move away from their nuclear weapon program. The delegation also was keen to discuss North Korea’s lack of food and human rights.
They traveled to North Korea as part of an international council of elders initiated by former South African leader Nelson Mandel in 2007. The group is both a think tank and council made up of former government leaders and dignitaries who advocate dialogue to help solve international conflicts.
Brundtland, Carter, Ahtisaari and Robinson landed in Beijing on Sunday, before continuing to Pyongyang. Their trip was to end on Thursday in Seoul, where South Korean foreign minister indicated he had no high expectations for its results.
Views and News staff