August 20, 2009 08:32
North Korea will send a delegation to the funeral of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, who died Tuesday. Democratic Party lawmaker Park Jie-won, a close aide of the former president's, said the message was sent to the Kim Dae Jung Peace Center.
In a separate message to Kim Dae-jung's family, North Korean leader Kim Jong-il wrote, "Upon hearing the sad news, I express my deep condolences to Lee Hee-ho (Kim Dae-jung's widow) and his bereaved family," according to North Korea's official KCNA news agency.
Park told reporters the North's Asia Pacific Peace Committee sent a message to former unification minister Lim Dong-won at the center. The delegation will consist of about five members, including a secretary and a department director of the Workers' Party, who will arrive with a wreath in the name of Kim Jong-il right before the funeral.
"The North said the delegation will come via the west coast route on a special plane. They will stay one day but will extend their stay for one more day if necessary," he added.
In the message to the family, Kim Jong-il said, "It is sad that former President Kim died, but his achievements on the path to realizing national reconciliation and unification will go down in history."
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