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N. Korean leader donates educational funds to pro-Pyongyang residents in Japan

All Headlines 15:50 April 10, 2011

SEOUL, April 10 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-il donated more than 165 million yen (US$1.94 million) in educational funds to pro-North Korea residents in Japan on the occasion of his late father's 99th birthday, the North's state media said Sunday.

The educational aid was sent to the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan, also known as "Chongryon," to mark the 99th anniversary on April 15 of North Korea founder Kim Il-sung's birth, the North's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

"It was sent for the democratic national education of children of compatriots in Japan," the KCNA said in a brief dispatch monitored in Seoul.

North Korea regularly gives financial aid to its supporters in Japan, many of whom descended from Korean laborers who were forcibly brought to Japan during Tokyo's 1910-45 colonial rule of the Korean Peninsula.

Kim Jong-il also donated $500,000 to Chongryon last month to help its members recover from Japan's March 11 earthquake and tsunami that left thousands dead or missing.

Kim and his father have until now sent more than 46.7 billion yen in educational funds for the pro-Pyongyang residents on 157 separate occasions, the dispatch said.

hague@yna.co.kr
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