North Korean leader Kim Jong Un has sent a condolence letter to the family of Unification Church founder Sun Myung Moon.
Moon, who founded Pyeonghwa (peace) Motors factory in North Korea, dedicated his life to inter-Korean exchanges. He died in early September 2012, leaving his widow Han Hak-ja the leader of the Unification Church.
On Sunday the North’s Korea Central News Agency (KCNA) revealed that the North Korean leader had contacted Han as the three-year anniversary of Moon’s death approaches.
“I sincerely express condolences to president Han Hak-ja and the bereaved family members on the anniversary of former president Moon Sun Myung’s passing,” the letter reads. “Moon has devoted himself to reconciliation of the nation and integration, unification and world peace. I hope president Han and the bereaved family members respect and follow Moon’s intention.”
The Family Federation for World Peace and Unification said the letter was sent via Kim Yang Gon, secretary of Workers’ Party of Korea and the director of the United Front Department, with condolence flowers.
Kim Jong Un has sent correspondence and flowers to Moon’s family before, including at his funeral on September 2012.
North Korea and the Unification Church have maintained strong ties, particularly in industry. In 2013, the Unification Church donated its control and stake in Pyeonghwa Motors to North Korea without receiving compensation.
Moon met Kim Il Sung in 1991, suggesting the Mount Kumgang development project, and established a tourism company.
Park Sang-kwon, current honorary president of Pyeonghwa Motors visited Pyongyang from August 24-28, meeting Kim Yang Gon on the 27th.
The Segye Ilbo, a South Korean newspaper which has ties to the Unification Church, has reported messages from Kim Yang Gon to South Korean government, delivered by Park Sang-kwon.
Kim Yang Gon reportedly said, “we are cautiously considering the divided families’ issue and have cancelled a quasi-war statement.” He added that “we will never break our promise, so please tell the South Korean government to build trust,” while criticizing a South Korean Ministry of National Defense official, who on Thursday, about the “plan of beheading North Korean main leaders, should North Korea indicate the use of nuclear weapons.”
Kim also called for the suspension of anti-North Korea leaflets, saying that “leaflets and loudspeaker broadcasts are not that different.”
Park Sang-kwon is Korean-American, having visited Pyongyang 220 times over 21 years, the Segye Ilbo reported.
In a May interview Han said she is considering when to visit North Korea.
Featured image: Wikimedia Commons
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