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DPRK delegation arrives in Seoul

A delegation from the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) arrived in Seoul today to pay respects to South Korean late president Kim Dae-jung.

The South Korean government sent its unification minister and former unification minister to greet the delegation at the airport, local media reported.

Before their departure, the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported that the delegation "left Pyongyang by special plan," reflecting the DPRK's attention on the issue, local Yonhap News Agency reported.

Arriving at Gimpo airport at 03:00 pm (0600 GMT), the six-member delegation headed straight to a memorial altar set up for ex-president Kim at the National Assembly.

The delegation, one by one, paid respects to Kim, placing the floral tribute sent from DPRK leader Kim Jong-il at the altar.

"In memory of former President Kim Dae-jung, who preserved justice and consciousness, leaving an inerasable mark in the heart of every Korean," Kim Ki-nam, leader of the delegation, wrote in a visitor's book.

The delegation is comprised of DPRK's top-ranking officials, including its leader Kim Ki-nam, a Workers' Party Central Committee secretary most frequently included in DPRK leader Kim Jong-il's entourage in public activities.

The visit marks the first visit by DPRK high-level officials since President Lee Myung-bak took office last year.


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