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6-day State Funeral for Kim DJ Considered

Posted August. 20, 2009 08:21,   


The state funeral for former President Kim Dae-jung could be held over six days, the Public Administration and Security Ministry said yesterday.

A state funeral is permitted to last for less than nine days but if the period is shortened to six days, the government can hold the funeral Sunday without designating legal holidays.

A ministry official said, “We have arranged details of the funeral well. The government and Kim’s family disagree over the type of the funeral. But we’ll make the final decision on the type by Thursday and make an official announcement.”

“In light of other former presidents passing away in the future, the government believes Kim’s funeral should be a people’s funeral. Due to certain issues that need to be considered, however, the government has talked with Kim’s family on the three choices of state, people’s and six-day state funerals.”

A government task force in charge of administrative works has written obituary notices to be sent to around 5,000 people to be invited to the funeral. It will also establish facilities for the event and receive callers for condolences from today at a plaza in the National Assembly, where Kim’s funeral will be held.

North Korea will also send a delegation to the funeral. Kim’s long-time aide Park Jie-won said, “The North’s Korea Asia-Pacific Peace Committee informed the Kim Dae Jung Peace Center’s Lim Dong-won, a former unification minister, of its plan to send a delegation to Kim’s funeral.”

In a notice, the committee said, “Shortly after Kim’s death was broadcast, Dear Leader Kim Jong Il sent a condolatory telegram in his own name and decided to send a delegation.”

The five-member delegation will include a North Korean Workers’ Party secretary and other high-ranking officials and bring a wreath sent by Kim Jong Il shortly before the funeral.

The delegation will stay for a day but could extend their visit if necessary. They will arrive in South Korea by a chartered plane via the west coast route.

Seoul and Kim’s aides have discussed details of the Pyongyang delegation’s visit. “We informed (the South Korean presidential office of) Cheong Wa Dae and the Public Administration and Security Ministry that a North Korean delegation wants to attend Kim’s funeral. Former Unification Minister Jeong Se-hyeon will discuss the issue with incumbent Unification Minister Hyun In-taek.”

A Unification Ministry official said, “We’re considering relevant issues since the visit of the North Korean delegation should be discussed by working-level officials and approved by the governments of both countries.”

Presidential spokesman Lee Dong-kwan said Tuesday, “We have no reason to oppose the North Korean delegation from attending Kim’s funeral.”

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