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ROK allows civic groups to send condolences to Pyongyang (2)


09:52, December 22, 2011

Former first lady Lee Hee-ho, whose late husband had forged friendly ties with the DPRK that culminated in a historic joint summit in 2000, had voiced hope for a Pyongyang visit even before Kim's death.

Hyundai Group chairwoman Hyun Jung-eun, who has remained committed to the troubled cross-border tour projects since her husband Chung Mong-hun killed himself in 2003, offered condolences over Kim's death in a news release on Monday.

Bipartisan response

ROK President Lee Myung-bak will hold a rare meeting with ruling and opposition leaders to encourage bipartisan responses to the death of Kim Jong-il, local media reported on Wednesday.

Lee is expected to meet on Thursday with interim ruling party leader Park Geun-hye, opposition co-representative Won He-young and Shim Dae-pyung, chairman of the right-wing minority Liberty Forward Party, according to YTN television.

Both the conservative ruling Grand National Party and the main opposition Unified Democratic Party have called for bipartisan unity during times of uncertainty following the announcement of Kim's death.

The two parties, however, clashed on Wednesday over whether to send a parliamentary delegation to attend Kim's funeral ceremony.

In their meeting earlier in the day, Park rejected Won's proposal to form a parliamentary delegation to visit Pyongyang, citing the government policy of not sending an official condolence delegation.

【1】 【2】

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