No hostility, South Korea tells NorthDecember 22nd, 2011 - 3:48 pm ICT by IANS
Seoul, Dec 22 (IANS) South Korea said Thursday its response to the death of Kim Jong-il, top leader of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK), was meant to show that Seoul held no hostility towards Pyongyang.
Kim Jong-il, the 69-year-old supreme leader of the nuclear-armed North Korea, died Dec 17 while on a train journey.
“Various measures we’ve taken so far have been intended to show that we are not hostile toward North Korea (DPRK),” said South Korean President Lee Myung-bak during a meeting with ruling and opposition party leaders, Xinhua reported.
South Korea’s military has maintained the usual level of defence readiness status following Kim’s death, Lee said, adding stability in the DPRK is “in the interest of neighbouring countries”.
The remarks came at a rare meeting involving interim ruling party leader Park Geun-hye, opposition co-representative Won He-young and Shim Dae-pyung, chairman of the right-wing minority Liberty Forward Party.
The meeting was held to encourage bipartisan responses to Kim’s sudden death, as liberals and conservatives here are often sharply split on inter-Korean affairs.
South Korea, in a statement Tuesday, expressed sympathy to the people of the DPRK over their leader’s death.
The country also refrained from provoking the DPRK by deciding not to raise the Watchcon surveillance status. It has also decided not to light up Christmas tree-shaped towers along the border, which the DPRK considers a form of ” psychological warfare”.
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Tags: kim jong il, korean affairs, lee myung bak, liberals and conservatives, neighbouring countries, north korea, north korea dprk, opposition party leaders, party leader, president lee, psychological warfare, readiness status, republic of korea, ruling party, s republic of korea, south korea, south korean president, supreme leader, train journey, xinhua