In a late but important recognition, the government of North Korea announced its intention to participate in Kim Dae-Jung´s funerals.
President Kim, who died yesterday, was the first South Korean President to actively seek reconciliation with the North. He followed the so called “Sunshine Policy” that made enormous progress in the relations with North Korea, which he visited in 2000 and held an historic meeting with its leader Kim Jong-il.
For this opening, he was awarded with the 2000 Peace Nobel Prize.
North Korea did not reduce the heavy presence of troops in the demilitarized zone and continued to work on developing nuclear weapons, which it tested in October 2006.
Relations between the two countries have deteriorated since South Korea’s current president Lee Myung-bak took office last year.
Photo of Bill Clinton with Kim Dae-Jung taken from Wikimedia Commons