According to Ahtisaari, the group of statesmen known as the Elders, who are currently on a visit to the Koreas, have received a verbal message to the effect that the North Korean President is now prepared to meet with the President of South Korea.
The Elders themselves, however, were not given the opportunity to meet with Kim Jong-il during their visit to the region.
Ahtisaari has said that humantiarian aid is needed to ease the food crisis in North Korea. The situation has not been helped by the fact that there has recently been less rainfall than usual in the country. Ahtisaari added that it is essential that any humanitarian aid should be directed to those who need it the most.
This is the first time that Martti Ahtisaari has visited North Korea.