Close Aide to Kim Jong-il Dies

      April 27, 2010 11:19

      Ri Yong-chol

      Ri Yong-chol, a deputy director in charge of military organization and personnel in the North Korean Workers' Party for the past 16 years, is dead, the North's state-run Korean Central Television reported Monday.

      "Comrade Ri died at the age of 81 at 12:20 a.m. on Monday due to a heart attack," said a statement by the Central Committee, Military Committee and the Presidium of the Supreme People's Assembly.

      When North Korea leader Kim Jong-il was being groomed to assume the leadership of North Korea, he consolidated his grip on power through the Organizational Committee and presently serves as its head. Ri is believed to have won the full trust of Kim with his reserved and meticulous style. He used to accompany Kim on many field visits but dropped out of view recently due to failing health.

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