S. Korea delegations meet Kim Jong-Un: ministry
SEOUL - Agence France-Presse
n this Friday, Dec. 23, 2011 photo released by the Korean Central News Agency and distributed in Tokyo, Monday, Dec. 26, 2011 by the Korea News Service, Kim Jong Un, right, late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il's youngest known son and successor, visits Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang, North Korea, to pay respect to his father. AP PhotoThe heads of two South Korean delegations met North Korea's new leader Kim Jong-Un during a visit to Pyongyang Monday to pay respects to his late father Kim Jong-Il, Seoul's Unification Ministry said.
A spokesman said 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.
The ministry had no further details of the meeting, the first between Jong-Un and South Korean visitors since he was proclaimed "great successor" to his late father.
Lee, 89, and Hyun, 56, had crossed the heavily fortified border and travelled overland to the North's capital on Monday.
"I hope that our visit to the North will help improve South-North relations," Lee said before she crossed the frontier with her aides.
The South's government, which must authorise all cross-border contacts, approved their trip. Kim Dae-Jung and Kim Jong-Il held the first-ever inter-Korean summit in 2000 while Hyundai pioneered cross-border business projects. Seoul refused to allow other mourning delegations to travel north, a decision criticised by Pyongyang as "inhuman".
Kim Jong-Il died of a heart attack on December 17 at the age of 69. He had met the Hyundai Group chief several times in the past.
The South's delegations are scheduled to return home Tuesday, before a state funeral Wednesday.