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Funeral Commission for Kim DJ Biggest in History

Posted August. 21, 2009 08:20,   


The commission in charge of the state funeral for the late former President Kim Dae-jung is the largest in the country’s history.

Formed after talks with Kim’s family, the commission led by Prime Minister Han Seung-soo comprises 2,371 members including former and incumbent officials, leaders from educational, religious and political circles, and relatives invited by Kim’s family.

A funeral hall for the late president was set up on the second floor of the main building at the National Assembly in Seoul yesterday.

Following the wake at Yonsei Severance Hospital in Seoul’s Shinchon district, Kim’s body was moved to the parliamentary headquarters.

After Kim’s body was placed in a glass coffin, his surviving relatives including his wife Lee Hee-ho placed flowers on the coffin. They were followed by National Assembly Speaker Kim Hyong-o and the floor leaders of the ruling Grand National Party, the main opposition Democratic Party, and the minor Renewal Party of Korea.

The main venue for burning incense was set up in front of the gate on the second floor of the main building, where Kim was inaugurated as president in February 1998. A placard saying “State Funeral for the Late Former President Kim Dae-jung” was also hanged there.

While the hearse carrying Kim’s body moved the hospital to the National Assembly through Shinchon Rotary and Seogang Bridge, many citizens paid their respects to Kim on the street. When the hearse arrived at the National Assembly, the triservice honor guard took Kim’s photo and moved it to the funeral hall.

A place for Kim’s bereaved family, the prime minister, Cabinet ministers and delegations sent by foreign governments was set at the reception room of the National Assembly speaker on the third floor of the main building.

A temporary anteroom was formed within the parliamentary library for chief mourners who will greet a steady stream of visitors overnight.

The National Assembly will be open 24 hours until 2 p.m. Sunday, when the funeral will be held. The parliamentary secretariat will run shuttle buses linking the National Assembly with the subway stations of Yeouido, Daebang and Dangsan for the public through Sunday.

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