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)

    All that we can do is just survive
    All that we can do to help ourselves is stay alive.
    All that we can do is just survive
    All that we can do to help ourselves is stay alive

    Ragged lines of ragged grey
    Skeletons, they shuffle away
    Shouting guards and smoking guns
    Will cut down the unlucky ones

    I clutch the wire fence until my fingers bleed
    A wound that will not heal, a heart that cannot feel
    Hoping that the horror will recede
    Hoping that tomorrow, we'll all be freed

    Sickness to insanity
    Prayer to profanity
    Days and weeks and months go by
    Don't feel the hunger - too weak to cry

    I hear the sound of gunfire at the prison gate
    Are the liberators here , do I hope or do I fear?
    For my father and my brother, it's too late
    But I must help my mother stand up straight.

    Are we the last ones left alive?
    Are we the only human beings to survive?

    December 21, 2011 at 12:21 am | Report abuse |
  2. Russ

    I thnk the South Koreans showed alot of dignity by doing that. Given what the North has done to them and attempted to do over the years. They have my admiration and my respect.

    December 22, 2011 at 10:01 am | Report abuse |
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