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. banasy©

    @JIF:
    It would cost a bit too much; I'm hoping *your* sarcophagus would be a little bigger, though no less grand.

    December 20, 2011 at 9:43 am | Report abuse |
  2. Portland tony

    If we don't get our act together as a nation, and soon, we will, be lumped in with failed states like North Korea. But for different reasons. We had it all, yet blew it. Kinda analogous to Rome in its day!

    December 20, 2011 at 9:54 am | Report abuse |
  3. banasy©

    I don't think the North Koreans see their country as a failed state.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:19 am | Report abuse |
  4. clearmind

    I too have been wondering about all the coverage.Not as eloquently as the two of you @banasy and @Joey but wondering none the less. I have to agree unless there is a DRASTIC change this beautiful country will be no more. Godspeed to those with a DRASTIC change!!

    December 20, 2011 at 10:32 am | Report abuse |
  5. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ Portland tony:
    I agree. I think we're very Roman Empire these days.
    Even the ruins of ancient Rome are wonderful.
    I lived through the glory of the USA.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:34 am | Report abuse |
  6. Joey Isotta-Fraschini

    @ clearmind,
    Good morning. I hope you're well.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:39 am | Report abuse |
  7. BOMBO

    "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."

    Uh, OK... That's not the least bit psychopatic, is it? We're going to retaliate if you light up a Christmas tree.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:46 am | Report abuse |
    • The Woof

      You are so right! Geez, lighting up a Christmas tree may start a war!?

      December 20, 2011 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  8. banasy©

    @BOMBO:
    Yes, I agree, which is why I don't think Christmas in *this* country will be going away any time soon.

    @JIF and Portland Tony:

    The Roman Empire lasted for many centuries.
    If what lies ahead is the destruction such as we have seen of the Roman Empire, we'll have succeeded in three.
    Yippee.
    Just shoot me now.

    December 20, 2011 at 10:55 am | Report abuse |
  9. BOMBO

    Good discussion folks. For once. HA.

    Re: funeral/ final resting arrangements, was it Lou Grant or Archie Bunker who said something like, just prop me up on the curb on trash day with a cigar in my mouth.

    Re: societal changes, not meaning to pop my head into an American discussion, but these are some of the same questions being discussed throughout the western world, especially in light of recent economic issues worldwide. The system we all operate with is fundamentally sound, but the problem has been deregulation in the past couple of decades. There's been an assumption that the capitalist system looks after itself if left alone, but I think we are all seeing that is not the case. Now the trick is not to OVER react. We just need to bring in some of the regulation that we used to have, back in the 70s and 80s.

    December 20, 2011 at 11:10 am | Report abuse |
  10. a kid

    Is he Santa? He's wearing red.

    December 20, 2011 at 12:39 pm | Report abuse |
  11. I wonder

    I wonder what they would do to you if you jumped up on the table and started tap dancing on the corpse.

    December 20, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Red Lenses

    I see red
    And it hurts my head
    Guess it must be something
    That I read

    It's the color of your heartbeat
    A rising summer sun
    The battle lost or won
    The flash to fashion
    And the pulse to passion
    Feels red
    Inside my head
    And truth is often bitter
    Left unsaid
    Said red, red
    Thinking about the overhead
    The underfed

    Couldn't we talk about something else instead?

    We've got mars on the horizon
    Says the national midnight star
    (It's true)
    What you believe is what you are
    A pair of dancing shoes
    The soviets are the blues
    The reds
    Under your bed
    Lying in the darkness
    Dead ahead

    And the mercury is rising
    Barometer starts to fall
    You know it gets to us all
    The pain that is learning
    And the rain that is burning
    Feel red
    Still...go ahead
    You see black and white
    And I see red
    Red
    (Not blue)
    Thinking about the overfed
    The underread

    December 20, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Report abuse |
  13. raven

    Caw! Caw! And hello to my friends. Aw, hell...hello even to those that AREN'T friends

    December 20, 2011 at 10:41 pm | Report abuse |
  14. TORI

    Yikes you guys are quite creative and funny today.

    December 20, 2011 at 11:17 pm | Report abuse |
  15. BOMBO

    OH NO! I missed raven an hour and a half ago. That sucks. She doesn't come here much anymore. Belated hello raven.

    December 21, 2011 at 12:18 am | Report abuse |
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