Former ROK first lady mourns Kim Jong-il

Updated: 2011-12-27 07:41


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PYONGYANG, Democratic People's Republic of Korea - Former Republic of Korea (ROK) first lady Lee Hee-ho arrived on Monday to express condolences over the death of Kim Jong-il, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), the official KCNA news agency reported.

Former ROK first lady mourns Kim Jong-il 

Lee Hee-ho, the widow of the late Republic of Korea (ROK) president Kim Dae-jung, leaves the ROK for Pyongyang, the capital of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), on Monday. The former ROK first lady was allowed to enter the DPRK to pay condolences to late leader Kim Jong-il.  [Photo/Agencies] 

Lee, widow of former ROK President Kim Dae-jung, led a 13-member delegation.

Meanwhile, a five-member delegation led by Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun, wife of the business group's late chairman, Chung Mong-hun, also arrived in Pyongyang.

The KCNA did not disclose the schedule for the delegations, who will return home on Tuesday.

The ROK's Unification Ministry said the mourners were scheduled to hold a luncheon meeting with some DPRK officials later before paying their respects to Kim.

The ROK government granted special permission for the two women to make the trip because the DPRK sent separate condolence delegations to Seoul after the deaths of their husbands.

However, it decided not to send any official group of mourners.

"I think it's the right thing to pay condolences as Kim Jong-il sent a condolence delegation to Seoul when my husband passed away in August 2009," Lee said in a written message read by her aide before crossing the border.

"I hope that our trip to the DPRK will help improve relations between ROK and the DPRK," she said.

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