(ATTN: UPDATES with more details in paras 6-7; ADDS photos)
SEOUL, Dec. 2 (Yonhap) -- President Yoon Suk-yeol on Friday offered his condolences over the death of former Chinese leader Jiang Zemin as he visited a memorial altar at the Chinese Embassy in Seoul, Yoon's office said.
Yoon expressed "deep condolences" over the former Chinese leader's passing and acknowledged his role in improving bilateral relations in his condolence book message, deputy presidential spokesperson Lee Jae-myoung said in a statement.
Yoon also sent a letter of condolence to Chinese President Xi Jinping ahead of his visit to the altar, in which he noted the former Chinese leader's role in establishing official ties in 1992 and expressed his condolences on behalf of the South Korean government and the people, Lee said.
During the visit, Yoon remarked to Chinese Ambassador to South Korea Xing Haiming how former South Korean President Roh Tae-woo, who passed away last year, and Jiang contributed in bridging the two countries, Lee said.
Yoon said the future generation should now advance the bilateral relations going forward, and Xing asked for Yoon's help for this, the presidential official said.
Other high-ranking South Korean officials also paid tribute to the late Chinese leader.
Unification Minister Kwon Young-se and Foreign Minister Park Jin visited the memorial altar in the afternoon, offering their deep condolences.
A funeral committee for Jiang announced that "foreign governments, political parties and friendly personages" will not be invited to send delegations to China to attend the mourning activities in accordance with China's practices.
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