[QODLink]
Asia-Pacific
North's Kim Jong-un meets S Korea delegates
Former First Lady and head of Hyundai Group meet North's new leader during visit to pay respects to his late father.
Last Modified: 26 Dec 2011 17:41

The heads of two South Korean delegations have met North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un during a visit to Pyongyang to pay respects to his late father Kim Jong-Il, Seoul's unification ministry said.

A spokesman said on Monday that Lee Hee-Ho, widow of late South Korean president Kim Dae-Jung, and Hyundai Group chairwoman Hyun Jung-Eun paid respects to the late leader at the Kumsusan Memorial Palace and expressed condolences to Jong-un.

"I hope that our visit to the North will help improve South-North relations," Lee said before she crossed the border.

Kim Dae-jung and Kim Jong-il held the first-ever inter-Korea summit in 2000 and Hyundai pioneered cross-border business projects.

Hyun, 56, had met Kim several times in the past.

Al Jazeera's Harry Fawcett, reporting from the border between the two countries, said that Hyundai had done a lot of business with North Korea.

He said that North Korea also sent delegations to the south when both women's husbands died.

"Lee said that this was an opportunity to build better relations between the two countries," our correspondent said.

The delegates held a lunch meeting with unidentified officials in Pyongyang later on Monday before paying last respects to Jong-il, according to the South's unification ministry, which handles inter-Korean affairs.

The delegates were scheduled to return home on Tuesday, before the state funeral on Wednesday.

Kim Jong-il died of a heart attack on December 17 at the age of 69.

Source:
Al Jazeera and agencies
Topics in this article
People
Country
City
Featured on Al Jazeera
An innovative rehabilitation programme offers Danish fighters in Syria an escape route and help without prosecution.
Street tension between radical Muslims and Holland's hard right rises, as Islamic State anxiety grows.
Take an immersive look at the challenges facing the war-torn country as US troops begin their withdrawal.
Ministers and MPs caught on camera sleeping through important speeches have sparked criticism that they are not working.
Featured
More than 400 gaming dens operate on native lands, but critics say social ills and inequality stack the deck.
The Palestinian president is expected to address the UN with a new proposal for the creation of a Palestinian state.
Nearly 1,200 aboriginal females have been killed or disappeared over 30 years with little justice served, critics say.
Ethnic violence has wracked China's restive Xinjiang region, leading to a tight government clampdown.
Malay artists revitalise the art of puppeteering by fusing tradition with modern characters such as Darth Vader.