The visit was historic and dramatic. Megawati went to Pyongyang to meet Kim Jong Il 37 years since they met for the first time in Indonesia. The visited aimed to further strengthen the traditional bilateral ties forged by the preceding leaders of the two nations - Sukarno, Megawati’s father, and Kim Il Sung - and to help promote the peace and reconciliation process based on the landmark inter-Korean agreement.
She became the second foreign head of state to make successive visits to North and South Korea, after Swedish Prime Minister Goran Persson. She also became the first foreign head of state to meet Kim Jong Il since George W. Bush threatened Pyongyang by calling it a member of an “axis of evil” in his State of the Union address in January.
Kim Jong Il and Megawati met first in Indonesia in 1965 when he accompanied Kim Il Sung who was visiting the country which advocated the non-aligned movement. As a college student, Megawati presented flowers to Kim Il Sung, and Kim Jong Il watched her perform a traditional ethnic dance at a banquet.