Will N.Korea Send Officials to Funeral of Kim Dae-jung's Widow?

  • By Lee Yong-soo

    June 12, 2019 10:09

    Hundreds of mourners on Tuesday paid their respects to Lee Hee-ho, the widow of former President Kim Dae-jung, who died Monday at 97.

    President Moon Jae-in, who is on a visit to Scandinavia, sent a wreath. A public funeral will be held on Friday and Lee's remains will be buried at the Seoul National Cemetery.

    North Korea could send a delegation to the funeral since her husband was responsible for the first inter-Korean summit in 2000 and commands a certain respect there, while Lee visited Pyongyang in 2011 for the funeral of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and met his successor Kim Jong-un.

    Presidential Chief of Staff Noh Young-min (center) and other Cheong Wa Dae officials visit a memorial altar for former first lady Lee Hee-ho in Seoul on Tuesday.

    When Kim Dae-jung died in 2009, North Korea sent a delegation headed by a senior official to his funeral despite chilly cross-border relations after the shooting death of a South Korean tourist at the North's Mt. Kumgang resort and the North's second test launch of a long-range missile.

    Ruling-party lawmakers hope that a visit by a high-level North Korean delegation could help resume dialogue between the two Koreas, which dried up after the failed U.S.-North Korea summit in Hanoi in February.

    North Korea has yet to comment on Lee's death. 

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