Updated: 12/07/2013 11:50 | By Agence France-Presse

North Korea pays tribute to Nelson Mandela

North Korea on Saturday sent its condolences to South Africa over the death of Nelson Mandela, praising his "struggle against racism and for democracy" in the country.

North Korea pays tribute to Nelson Mandela

People pay a tribute to late South African president Nelson Mandela outside his former house in Soweto on December 6, 2013

Kim Yong Nam, president of the Presidium of the North's Supreme People's Assembly (parliament), sent a message of sympathy to South Africa's president Jacob Zuma, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Kim expressed "profound condolences" to the South African people and Mandela's family, it said.

The message marked North Korea's first official reaction to the death of the anti-apartheid leader.

Kim said in his message that "the feats performed by Nelson Mandela in the struggle against racism and for democracy in South Africa would always be remembered by the South African people and progressive mankind," the agency reported.

Kim expressed hope that "the South African government and people would register successes in their efforts to build a new, prosperous society as desired by the deceased under the leadership of the president", it said.

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