Other than a small group of people specially authorized by the government in Seoul, no South Koreans will be attending the funeral of deceased dictator, film star and golf prodigy Kim Jong Il, despite overtures from the North.
A general ban prevents ordinary South Koreans from attending, even if they wanted to, and the current regime in Seoul, which took a harder line toward Pyongyang than the previous administration, will not be sending any representatives. —PZS
According to the state media, the government has not invited foreign dignitaries, but has encouraged South Koreans to pay their respects at the ceremony in Pyongyang next Wednesday.
The government in Seoul does not plan to send a delegation and has imposed a travel ban on ordinary citizens, but it has authorised a select group of people to attend. Among them is Lee Hee-ho, the wife of the former South Korean president Kim Dae-jung, whose “sunshine policy” of engagement in the late 1990s has given way to frostier ties under the current president, Lee Myung-bak. The South says it will allow her to attend, given that the North sent representatives to her husband’s funeral in 2009.