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N Korean official in charge of ties with South dies: Pyongyang

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Seoul: A top North Korean official in charge of ties with South Korea and reunification was killed in a traffic accident, Pyongyang’s state media said today.

“Comrade Kim Yang-Gon, a Workers’ Party secretary and member of the party Central Committee Politbureau… Died in a traffic accident at 6:15 am yesterday at age 73,” the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.

KCNA said leader Kim Jong-Un would head an 80-member state funeral for Kim tomorrow.

A career party diplomat, Kim has been known as a key confidante to the leader in the Stalinist state, advising him on inter-Korean relations and more recently on international relations in general.

He played a leading role in realising the 2007 summit between the then leader Kim Jong-Il and South Korean president Roh Moo-Hyun.