S. Korean Embassy in DC opens memorial altar for late ex-President Kim

November 23, 2015
Mourners visit a memorial for former South Korean President Kim Young-sam inside the Korean American Association of Greater New York Sunday. (Korea Times)

Mourners visit a memorial for former South Korean President Kim Young-sam inside the Korean American Association of Greater New York Sunday. (Korea Times)

WASHINGTON (Yonhap) — South Korea’s Embassy in Washington began accepting mourners of late former President Kim Young-sam on Monday after establishing a memorial altar at the embassy building.

Amb. Ahn Ho-young and the embassy staff paid their respects before a black-draped, chrysanthemum-framed portrait of the former president set up on the white-covered altar.

The altar will be open until 5 p.m. Thursday.

U.S. officials are also expected to visit the embassy to pay their respects to the late president.

“As a big statesman in our politics, former President Kim left a big footstep in the Republic of Korea’s democratization,” Ahn told reporters after paying his respects.

On Sunday, the White House expressed condolences, saying the late leader helped lead the Asian ally to democracy and his legacy is enshrined in “unbreakable” ties between the two countries.

“His contributions to the peace, stability and prosperity of the Republic of Korea will always be remembered, and his legacy is enshrined in America’s unbreakable relationship with the Korean government and people,” the White House said in a statement.

House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Ed Royce (R-CA) also mourned Kim’s death, calling the late leader a “pro-democracy advocate” who “formally ended decades of military rule” in South Korea.

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