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U.S. expresses condolences over passing of former first lady Lee Hee-ho

All Headlines 23:54 June 11, 2019

WASHINGTON, June 11 (Yonhap) -- The United States on Tuesday expressed its condolences over the passing of Lee Hee-ho, the widow of former South Korean President Kim Dae-jung.

The former first lady died Monday at the age of 96 after battling with liver cancer.

"On behalf of the Government of the United States, I want to convey my condolences to former First Lady Lee Hee-ho's family and the people of the Republic of Korea on her passing," State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus said in a statement.

"Ms. Lee dedicated her life to peace and prosperity on the Korean Peninsula and facilitated dialogue between North and South Korea," she said.

The former first lady accompanied her husband to Pyongyang for the first inter-Korean summit with then-North Korean leader Kim Jong-il in 2000. Kim Dae-jung won the Nobel Peace Prize later that year.

Lee also traveled to Pyongyang after her husband's death in 2009, including to deliver humanitarian aid, in the spirit of his signature "sunshine policy" of engagement with the North.

"She led multiple visits to Pyongyang to promote better relations between the two countries, and her efforts for peace will never be forgotten," Ortagus said. "In this time of loss, please accept our deepest sympathy and assurance that the United States will always remember Ms. Lee's dedication and service."

This photo taken on June 11, 2019, shows an altar in Seoul for Lee Hee-ho, the widow of former President Kim Dae-jung, who died the previous day at age 96. (Yonhap)

hague@yna.co.kr
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