N. Korea confirms delegation to South funeral

North Korea confirmed it would send a high-ranking delegation to the South to mourn former President Kim Dae-jung, who died earlier this week.

N. Korea confirms delegation to South funeral

North Korea confirmed on Thursday it would send a high-ranking delegation to the South to mourn former President Kim Dae-jung, who died earlier this week.

Kim, who died on Tuesday aged 85, brokered the same year the first summit between the leaders of the rival Koreas.

North Korea's KCNA news agency said leader Kim Jong-il had approved the Aug. 21-22 visit, headed by close aide Kim Ki Nam, secretary of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party.

The delegation for the state funeral on Aug. 23 will be the first high-level visit to the South by North Korean officials in almost two years.

Kim Jong-il had earlier sent a message of condolence to the former president's family, praising his efforts to reunite the two Koreas, divided since the end of World War Two.

The first sign of a more conciliatory North Korea came earlier this month when it released two jailed American journalists following a visit to Pyongyang by former U.S. President Bill Clinton.

North Korean leader Kim also this month met the head of South Korea's powerful Hyundai Group, a major investor in the North.

That meeting helped win the release of a Hyundai worker detained since March and agreement to resume tourism to the North and reunions of families separated by the 1950-53 Korean War.

Adding to the flurry of diplomatic activity around the prickly North, one leading South Korean daily reported that China's chief nuclear envoy had ended a three-day visit to Pyongyang.

It gave no details of the visit by Wu Dawei but as the North's only major ally, China is one of the few global powers with much influence over Pyongayang.


Reuters

Last Mod: 20 Ağustos 2009, 13:36
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