PYONGYANG, North Korea (AP) — Two groups of South Koreans with ties to Pyongyang have crossed the heavily fortified border to pay respect for late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.
Seoul's Unification Ministry said Monday that the civilian delegations plan to visit Pyongyang's Kumsusan Memorial Palace where Kim's body is lying in state.
The two groups are led by the widow of former President Kim Dae-jung, who held a landmark summit with Kim Jong Il in 2000, and Hyundai Group Chairwoman Hyun Jeong-eun, whose late husband had ties to the North.
South Korea has only allowed the two groups to visit and pay condolences for the death of Kim on Dec. 17.
North Korea has warned South Korea not to bar other groups to visit the North saying such an obstruction would worsen ties.