The Reverend Hyung-jin Moon, the youngest son of the late Reverend Sun Myung Moon, participates in a memorial service for his father.

Seoul - The successor to Sun Myung Moon, the deceased founder of the Unification Church, made a surprise visit to North Korea on Friday, his spokesman said.

Hyung Jin Moon, Moon's youngest son and successor as church leader, crossed the border early on Friday, spokesman Ahn Ho-Yeol told journalists.

He will receive North Korean mourners who will pay their respects in front an altar which was set up in Pyongyang in memory of his late father, Ahn said.

The unscheduled trip sparked speculation here that North Korea's leader Kim Jong-Un may meet Hyung Jin Moon to convey his condolences in person.

Kim Jong-Un on Wednesday issued a public message of condolence over Moon's death but Pyongyang has not sent any mourners to the South.

Tensions remain high on the Korean peninsula following a joint US-South Korea military drill last month.

Moon, the self-styled messiah who founded the church famed for its mass weddings and business empire spanning cars to sushi, died Monday at the age of 92 due to complications from pneumonia. - AFP