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Yon Hyong Muk, senior N. Korean figure, dies at 73.

BEIJING, Oct. 23 Kyodo

A senior North Korean official, Yon Hyong Muk, died Saturday of chronic disease, North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) reported Sunday. He was 73.

The report said Yon, an alternate member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the Workers' Party of Korea and a vice chairman of the powerful National Defense Commission, ''died of an incurable disease.''

Yon underwent surgery for pancreatic cancer in Russia in 2004, according to South Korea's Yonhap news agency.

KCNA said Yon will be given a state funeral.

Yon was a close aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong Il in the defense industry and other economic affairs, Yonhap said. Kim chairs the National Defense Commission on which Yon served.

He also worked as the chief negotiator for the North during the high-level inter-Korean dialogue in the early 1990s, at a time when the two Koreas produced the South-North Basic Agreement on various inter-Korean rapprochement measures, Yonhap said.

It said he had also served as deputy head of the ruling party's Central Committee and as deputy prime minister and prime minister.

Yon last appeared in public at a military march to mark the 60th anniversary of the party's foundation on Oct. 10, Yonhap reported.
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Publication:Asian Political News
Article Type:Obituary
Date:Oct 24, 2005
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