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Saturday, May 21, 2016, 11:18

Senior DPRK official dies of cancer at 76

By Agencies

Senior DPRK official dies of cancer at 76
This photo taken on Aug 4, 2009 shows DPRK leader Kim Jong-i l (right ) and First Vice Foreign Minister Kang Sok-j u. ( AFP PHOTO / KCNA VIA KOREAN NEWS SERVIC)

PYONGYANG - Kang Sok-ju, a senior official of the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK), has died of cancer at the age of 76, the official Korean Central News Agency reported Saturday.

The KCNA said Kang, a "trustworthy revolutionary comrade" of DPRK leader Kim Jong-un and an "excellent son" of the country's ruling party, died of esophageal cancer Friday afternoon.

Kang, a longtime foreign policy specialist for the DPRK, was Pyongyang's chief negotiator when it reached a landmark agreement with the United States in 1994 to freeze and eventually dismantle its nuclear facilities in exchange for international aid to build two electricity-producing nuclear reactors.

The deal fell apart in 2002 after revelations that the DPRK had operated a secret nuclear weapons program in violation of the agreement.

Kang was a member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party of Korea (WPK), from September 2010 to early May 2016.

He used to work as deputy foreign minister, first deputy foreign minister and vice premier.

In April 2014, he was given the post of secretary and director of the International Department under the WPK Central Committee.

Kang had also been a deputy to the Supreme People's Assembly, the country's top legislative body, since 1987.

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