ROK allows private condolences on Kim's death

Updated: 2011-12-21 13:37


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SEOUL - South Korea has decided to allow civilians and private organizations to send their condolences on the death of Kim Jong-il, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), Seoul's Unification Ministry said Wednesday.

"The government decided to allow civilians to send messages of condolences to North Korea via fax or mail," said an official at the Unification Ministry in charge of North Korean affairs. Any private contact with North Korea must be approved by the ministry.

On Tuesday, Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik said the government has decided not to send an official delegation to attend Kim Jong-il's funeral as the DPRK said it would not accept foreign delegations for the funeral ceremony scheduled on December 28.

Still, the government will allow Pyongyang visits by the families of late former South Korean 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, Yu said.

The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Monday that Kim Jong-il, general secretary of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), chairman of the DPRK National Defense Commission and supreme commander of the Korean People's Army (KPA), died from great mental and physical strain at 8:30 am Saturday (2330 GMT Friday), on a train during a field guidance tour.