Former Japanese Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi has sent a message of condolence to North Korea’s new leader Kim Jong-un over his father’s sudden death, the North’s state media said Friday.
The 69-year-old North Korean leader died of a heart attack on Dec. 17.
“He (Koizumi) sincerely expressed his condolences,” the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said, adding that he expressed hope for improved ties between Japan and North Korea.
When he served as the Japanese prime minister, Koizumi visited North Korea twice in 2002 and 2004 and held talks with Kim Jong-il.
Also on Friday, the North’s state radio broadcast that Kim Jong-un again visited Kumsusan Memorial Palace in Pyongyang where the body of his late father lies in state in a glass coffin.