North Korea Bows to the South’s Fallen Pioneer
Posted on Aug 19, 2009
Did Bill Clinton shake something loose during his recent visit to Pyongyang? No, Kim Jong Il’s overtures to his southern neighbors this week are the legacy of Kim Dae-jung, the former president and first modern South Korean leader to visit the North. Kim died Tuesday. He survived political persecution and attempted assassination to cross the neutral zone and step into history
Not all Koreans thrilled to Kim’s “Sunshine Policy,” but the unprecedented opening to the North and his vision of a reunified peninsula were enough to earn Kim a Nobel Prize.
Following his death from pneumonia, North Korean state media expressed the condolences of Kim Jong Il, who has ordered a delegation to honor his old counterpart. —PS
“I express my deep condolences to Mrs Ri Hui Ho and other bereaved family members,” he said.
“Though he passed away to our regret, the feats he performed to achieve national reconciliation and realize the desire for reunification will remain long with the nation.”
A long-time aide to the former president also said Kim Jong-il had sent condolences and had announced he wanted to send envoys to the funeral.
AP / Yonhap
South Korean President Kim Dae-jung, right, is embraced by North Korean leader Kim Jong Il during a departure ceremony following their three-day summit in 2000.