A high-ranking North Korean official, Kim Yang Gon,73, has died in an automobile accident.
Kim, a veteran of negotiations with South Korea since the late Kim Jong Il was in charge, was best known for his role at the negotiation table in August as tensions rose yet again between the two countries.
Kim and Hwang Pyong So, the reclusive regime’s leader’s deputy and political director of North Korea’s army, attended high-level talks inside the Demilitarized Zone. Analysts suggested at the time that the attendance of such high-ranking officials might signal that the North really wanted serious wide-ranging negotiations. Relations between the two neighbors, who are technically still at war, ebb and flow.
Kim was the head of the United Front Department and responsible for dealings with the South.