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DPRK top leader mourns former South Korean president

PYONGYANG, Aug. 19 (Xinhua) -- Kim Jong Il, top leader of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), mourned former South Korean president Kim Dae Jung, praising his feats for national reconciliation, the official KCNA news agency said on Wednesday.

"Upon hearing the sad news that ex-President Kim Dae Jung passed away, I express my deep condolences to Mrs. Ri Hui Ho and other bereaved family members," said the top leader in a message of condolences to the family of Kim Dae Jung.

"Though he passed away to our regret, the feats he performed to achieve national reconciliation and realize the desire for reunification will remain long with the nation," he added.

Kim died at 85 on Tuesday in hospital, after being admitted on July 13 with pneumonia and related complications.

He came to Pyongyang to hold a summit meeting with the DPRK top leader Kim Jong Il in June 2000, which won Kim the Noble prize.

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