South Korea's actions toward Pyongyang after the death of the North Korean leader Kim Jong Il were intended to show that Seoul does not have animosity toward the North, President Lee Myung-bak of South Korea said in a meeting with political leaders Thursday.
Lee told members of the governing and opposition parties that he believed North Korea had probably not expected South Korea to take such measures toward the North.
Seoul expressed its sympathy to the North Korean people through a statement on Tuesday, a day after North Korea's state-run media announced the death of Kim.
South Korea also said that while it would not send an official delegation to the North, it would allow a limited number of private groups to send delegations to the North if desired. It also announced that it would let civilian groups send messages of condolence to the North upon approval of the Unification Ministry in Seoul.
Pyongyang said Thursday that it would welcome a private delegation from Hyundai Asan, a South Korean company with heavy investments in the North, to pay respects to Kim.
North Korea delivered the message -- addressed to the chairwoman of Hyundai Group, Hyun Jeong-eun -- through the company's office in the North's Kaesong Industrial Park some 45 kilometers (27 miles) north of Seoul, said Roh Jee-hwan, a Hyundai spokesman.
Hyundai Asan has held a working level meeting with the government to discuss the details of the trip, according to the Unification Ministry.
"The swift stabilization of North Korea's leadership is in the interest of all neighboring countries," Lee said Thursday.