North Korean leader Kim Jong-il has sent a verbal message to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the death of a noted South Korean industrialist who pioneered cross-border economic projects, the North's media said Saturday.
Chung Ju-yung, the then chairman of Hyundai Group, initiated a series of major economic projects in North Korea starting in 1998, including a sightseeing tour to scenic Mount Geumgang on the North's east coast. He died on March 21, 2001.
In the verbal message, the North Korean leader spoke highly of the South Korean industrialist, saying that he did the right thing to promote national reconciliation, the North's Korean Central News Agency said in a report.
"Chung Ju-yung paved the way for national reconciliation and cooperation and did really a great job for the development of the inter-Korean relations and the sacred cause of national reunification," the KCNA quoted the leader as saying in the message.
Kim also expressed hope that everything would go well for the Chung family and Hyundai, the KCNA report said.
The report did not say when and how the North Korean leader's message was conveyed to the Chung family in Seoul. Chung's eldest son, Chung Mong-koo, heads the nation's largest automaker, Hyundai Motor Co.