Top North Korean official behind peace talks dies in car accident

(From AP)

North Korea’s top official in charge of relations with South Korea has died in a traffic accident, the country’s state media announced Wednesday, dimming the prospect for ties between the rival countries. He was 73.

Kim Yang Gon, center, in a file photo

Kim Yang Gon, center, in a file photo

Kim Yang Gon, head of the United Front Department at the ruling Workers’ Party, died Tuesday morning, the Korean Central News Agency reported. It said a state funeral will be held Thursday for him but gave no further details about his death.

He was the first senior North Korean official who state media said died in a car accident since young leader Kim Jong Un took power upon the death of his dictator father Kim Jong Il in late 2011. State media have occasionally reported about deadly traffic accidents involving other top officials without elaborating. Read More

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