Former S.Korean first lady heads North for condolences

By REUTERS
December 26, 2011 04:32

PAJU, South Korea - The widow of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, the author of a now-jettisoned engagement policy with North Korea, crossed the fortified land border between the two sides on Monday to pay her respects to deceased dictator Kim Jong-il.

Ties between the North and South have been frozen since the election of conservative South Korean President Lee Myung-bak in 2008, who cut aid in a bid to force the North to abandon a nuclear program and bring it to the negotiating table.

A thirteen-member delegation, led by Lee Hee-ho, the widow of former president Kim Dae-jung who masterminded the so-called "Sunshine Policy" of engagement with the North, crossed the border by car and will pay their respects at the bier of Kim Jong-il in Pyongyang.

"I hope my visit to North Korea will help improve South-North Korea relations," Yoon Chul-koo, an aide to Lee, quoted her as saying at an immigration office at the southern border of the De-Militarized Zone.


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