December 20th, 2011
04:46 AM ET

South Korea expresses sympathy to North Korean people

The South Korean government expressed its sympathy to the people of North Korea following the death of Kim Jong Il, South Korea's unification minister said Tuesday.

In a televised press conference, Unification Minister Yu Woo-ik also said Seoul will not send a government delegation to North Korea. However, the South will allow bereaved family members of the late South Korean President Kim Dae-jung and the late Hyundai Group Chairman Chung Mong-hun to visit the North in return for a visit by North Korean delegates to the funerals of the two South Korean figures.

In addition, the South Korean government asked church groups to refrain from lighting Christmas trees near the demilitarized zone between the two countries due to the North's mourning period. The Christmas trees have been deemed a symbol of psychological warfare, and North Korea threatened in the past to retaliate if the South lights the trees.

Meanwhile, Kim Jong Un, the son and successor of the recently deceased North Korean leader –viewed his father's body in Pyongyang on Tuesday, state-run media said, as the world watched for clues on how the leadership transition will play out in the insular dictatorship.

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Filed under: Kim Jong Il • Kim Jong Un • North Korea • South Korea • World
soundoff (33 Responses)
  1. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Why is all of this discussion about North Korea invited by CNN?

    December 20, 2011 at 6:17 am | Report abuse |
  2. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    North Korea is as left and repressive as a country can get with "social progress" and "change."
    Is the fair and unbiased yet quite Leftist CNN testing the direction of the political wind in anticipation of further American "Change?" How about different folks' ideas of Hope?
    I support Obama because he has done some good things, and Republicans have gone too far in some directions.
    However, I don't want to see any communism in America.
    I feel so strongly about that that I may even put up a Christmas tree.
    In honor of beroved reader.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    Light you tree, JIF.
    You're not going to SEE that communism in America.

    Hand down, the silliest statement of Christmases Yet To Come statement and comparison of the left I have seen in years.

    You really want to know why so much coverage?
    He DIED.

    Don't you remember all of the coverage when Gadhafi died9v
    Do you think we're in much danger of becoming a radical Islamic nation?

    Actually, I think its a nice sign of respect the SK is doing this. It may prevent a nuke in Christmas Future.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:40 am | Report abuse |
  4. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    A few decades after my death, barring drastic changes in the direction of the USA's avalanche of education, cooling-out of aspiration, subsidized population growth (especially in the low-IQ gene pool), and mountaineering sense of en-
    ment, the USA will, of necessity, adopt communism as its economic system and become a state modeled somewhat after North Korea and the Gone-With-the-Wind USSR.
    However, that time has not arrived. We still have a little of the American experiment to play out.
    So, pollsters through invited comments, I say that North Korea su-
    s in a major way and we don't have to vote that horror upon ourselves yet.
    I shall be gratefully dead when that nightmare, a communist USA, occurs.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:48 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ banasy:
    I respect you enormously and send you my love.
    Nevertheless, I think that, although I won't see it–as even you said–unless we take a different road at the next intersection, we're headed for burial by Marxism.
    I'll even take off my shoe and bang it on the podium for emphasis of that.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:58 am | Report abuse |
  6. banasy©

    You know I feel the same way about you, dear heart.
    I hope that I'm not alive should an unfortunate event happens.
    I don't however, think it will be the left that does it.
    Can communism exist with a forced religion?
    That'd be more of what I'd expect.

    December 20, 2011 at 7:10 am | Report abuse |
  7. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ banasy:
    My phrase wasn't absolutely clear.
    What I referred to your saying was that I would not live to see communism here.
    I think that, unless many courses are altered, I would see communism here if I lived a lot longer. It might not be called communism, but even if it's labeled (extreme) socialism it will call Marx to smile in his grave and mutter, "almost pure...almost pure, now..."

    December 20, 2011 at 7:15 am | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    I merely said light your tree, that you won't SEE communism.
    I hope I don't see it either, under any label.

    You're 116; I'm a mere 97.
    We may both see it under a new, improved, catchy little name; I doubt it, though.

    People like their trees too much.

    December 20, 2011 at 7:25 am | Report abuse |
  9. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ banasy:
    BTW, in light of a "forced religion," and in regard to just one course being followed, count the parishioners in Christian churches this December 25, then observe the increasing interest in Islam in the USA.
    Personally, I like the Halal chicken I have delivered to my apartment when I'm alone in town and don't want to cook.
    I still don't think that American communism will come from religion.
    The Rosenbergs were pretty religious about Marx: I met people who knew them and attended the same gatherings.
    The Sing-Sing chair is in a museum now, if I'm not mistaken.

    December 20, 2011 at 7:28 am | Report abuse |
  10. banasy©

    I will never cease to be amazed that people would confuse a governmental ideology with religion, although the ancient Egyptians excelled at that.

    They have Egyptian thrones in museums, also.

    December 20, 2011 at 8:22 am | Report abuse |
  11. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Egypt is really beautiful. What an amazing culture that was! I wish I could afford to have a little place there to go sometimes. I do have a Muslim friend who's going to retire there.
    Oh–I saw a shot of Kim Jong II lying in state.
    I know there's often a question of one's final clothing.
    I don't care for black–so sad.
    I know they wanted something a little more cheerful for the Beloved Leader, but I'm not certain that they had to go all the way to red to dispel the gloom.
    Perhaps frequencies in the orange–even the yellow–ranges would have sufficed.
    Why not just a nice dark blue?
    That's always pleasant.

    December 20, 2011 at 8:37 am | Report abuse |
  12. banasy©

    I agree.
    I have never been to Egypt, and I don't want to visit right now...too much unrest at this point.

    I saw that footage of Kim Jong II, too.
    I wonder if that color is a tradition or if there is a statement to me made.
    One thing it did convince *me* of:
    I will insist on immediate cremation.

    December 20, 2011 at 8:52 am | Report abuse |
  13. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    Red Room

    December 20, 2011 at 8:57 am | Report abuse |
  14. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    I think I'll be cremated, too...
    However, what they did for Napoleon at Les Invalides appealed to me a lot...I wonder how much that would cost today.

    December 20, 2011 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  15. banasy©

    Channeling Stephen King again, JIF?

    I just saw Lil Kim lying-in-State again; he's wearing an olive-green uniform with a lovely red sheet folded on least I think it's a red sheet...

    December 20, 2011 at 9:35 am | Report abuse |
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