A pair of dogs gifted by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un four years ago have ended up at a zoo in South Korea following a dispute over who should foot the bill for the animals’ care.
A pair of dogs gifted by North Korean leader Kim Jong Un four years ago ended up at a zoo in South Korea after a dispute over who should finance the caring of the animals.
Kim had given the two white Pungsan hunting dogs — a breed indigenous to North Korea — to then-South Korean President Moon Jae-in as a gift following their summit talks in Pyongyang in 2018. But liberal Moon gave up the dogs last month, citing a lack of financial support for the canines from the current conservative government led by President Yoon Suk Yeol.
The dogs, named Gomi and Songgang, were moved to a zoo run by a local government in the southern city of Gwangju last Friday after a temporary stay at a veterinary hospital in the southeastern city of Daeju, zoo officials said.
With Gwangju Mayor Kang Gijung in attendance, the dogs were shown off Monday with their nametags around their necks as journalists and other visitors took photos.
“Gomi and Songgang are a symbol of peace and South-North Korean reconciliation and cooperation. We will raise them well like we cultivate a seed for peace,” Kang said, according to his office.