North Korea to send delegation to Kim funeral

As president of South Korea, Kim Dae-jung helped bridge differences with North Korea.
North Korea will send a delegation to the funeral of former South Korean President Kim Dae-Jung, who is best remembered for trying to foster better relations between the two neighbors.

The communist North sent a letter to Kim’s staff members informing them of its plans, an aide to the late president told CNN on Wednesday. Kim, who was president from 1998 to 2003, died Tuesday of heart failure. He had been admitted to Seoul’s Severance Hospital more than a month ago with pneumonia. Shortly after he took office, Kim vigorously met political leaders of Western countries in a bid to gain support for his “Sunshine policy” to establish relations with the North.

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Talk Asia transcript: Kim Dae-jung

The watershed moment of Kim’s president came in June 2000 when he met North Korean leader Kim Jong Il, becoming the first South Korean leader to do so since the Korean War unofficially ended in 1953.

Later that year, he won the Nobel Peace Prize for trying to prod North Korea toward rapprochement. Kim’s aides have not announced funeral arrangements.