ROK's ex-first lady begins DPRK visit

Updated: 2015-08-06 07:40

By Xinhua in Seoul(China Daily)

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ROK's ex-first lady begins DPRK visit

Lee Hee-ho, widow of former ROK president Kim Dae-jung, is helped off a plane upon arrival at Pyongyang International Airport. [Photo/Agencies] 

The widow of the Republic of Korea's late president Kim Dae-jung arrived in Pyongyang on Wednesday afternoon for her four-day visit to the Democratic People's Republic of Korea amid remaining cross-border tensions.

The DPRK's state-run KCNA News Agency reported that Lee Hee-ho arrived in Pyongyang in the afternoon. Lee and her 18-member entourage are scheduled to return home on Saturday.

Lee Hee-ho departed from an airport in Seoul at about 10 am local time by a chartered plane of a ROK low-budget airline.

The 93-year-old former first lady flew to Pyongyang along the direct air route, specially approved by DPRK leader Kim Jong-un - such flights were banned after the 1950-53 Korean War, which ended in armistice, not in peace treaty. The ROK and the DPRK remain technically at war.

Lee's husband, Kim Dae-jung, was known for his signature "sunshine policy" of reconciliation with the DPRK, leading to the first inter-Korean summit in 2000 in Pyongyang with Kim Jong-il.

The June 15 joint declaration was issued by the two leaders after the historic summit. Lee accompanied Kim to the summit in 2000.

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