HAMILTON, Bermuda (AP) _ President Bush and British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher interrupted their discussions about global issues Friday to take part in a tradition of Bermuda - flying a kite on Good Friday.

The leaders were in good cheer as they greeted a group of 20 children on the grounds of Government House, where the two were holding a day of talks.

The president and the prime minister took the strings of kites that already were aloft in 30 mph winds. Bush maneuvered his with a pumping motion; Mrs. Thatcher used a gentler easing of the string.

One of the children, 10-year-old Matthew Figueiredo, said Bush told the youngsters that he kept a couple of Chinese kites at the White House and that, ''if it were a bit calmer, it would be perfect for flying kites.''

The tradition of Good Friday kite flying was started by a Sunday school teacher seeking to explain to his students Christ's ascension into heaven.

En route to Bermuda, Bush had told reporters that he has a ''large inventory of kites.''

''I'm often told to go fly my kite,'' he said.