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ROK allows civic groups to send condolences to Pyongyang

(Xinhua)

09:51, December 22, 2011

SEOUL - The Republic of Korea (ROK) will allow civic groups and civilians to send messages of condolences to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) over its leader's recent death, the unification ministry said on Wednesday.

The unification ministry, which oversees inter-Korean affairs, will grant approvals to groups and individuals wishing to send messages by fax or mail, spokesman Choi Boh-seon said at a briefing.

"The unification ministry plans to accept such requests unless there's a special reason not to," Choi added.

As of Wednesday, a few private organizations including Hyundai Asan, an operator of suspended cross-border tours, have asked the ministry to extend their condolences to the DPRK.

The move comes a day after the ROK expressed its sympathy to the people of the DPRK over Kim Jong-il's death on Saturday.

The country decided not to send an official delegation to attend Kim's funeral, as the DPRK said it will not accept foreign delegations for the funeral ceremony scheduled on Dec 28.

The government said on Tuesday it will allow Pyongyang visits by the families of the late former ROK president Kim Dae-jung and former Hyundai Group chairman Chung Mong-hun, in appreciation of Pyongyang's previous decisions to send delegates to honor the two men at their funerals.

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