N. Korea Says Top Official Killed in Car Crash

N. Korea Says Top Official Killed in Car CrashN. Korea Says Top Official Killed in Car Crash

A top aide to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un has died in a car crash.

Kim Yang-gon, 73, was a secretary of the ruling Workers’ Party and was in charge of ties with South Korea. He was part of a high-level delegation from N. Korea that helped ease a standoff with the South in August, after an exchange of artillery fire, BBC quoted state news agency KCNA as reporting.

The state news agency called him Kim Jong-un’s “closest comrade and a solid revolutionary partner”.

“Comrade Kim Yang-gon, a Workers’ Party secretary and member of the party Central Committee Politburo ... died in a traffic accident at 6:15 a.m., Tuesday, at age 73,” KCNA said, without giving details.

It added that Kim Jong-un would lead an 80-member state funeral for Kim on Thursday.

Tension between North and South Korea increased in August when a border blast injured two South Korean soldiers. Meetings at that time eventually led to the two countries stepping away from a military confrontation.