Experts have warned of a potential deterioration in ties involving the two Koreas after the sudden death of a senior North Korean ruling party official who had been in charge of managing relationships with South Korea.
Kim Yang- a top aide to the North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, perished on Tuesday in an automobile crash, the state news agency reported on Wednesday, in the most recent episode involving the leader’s deputies.
Kim Yang-gon was credited with helping serious battle is averted by both nations after an exchange of a landmine explosion as well as artillery fire – attributed on North Korea – two South Korean soldiers were maimed by that.
Analysts said his departure could prompt a deterioration in the relations of North Korea with its neighbour.
“This will produce negative impacts on inter-Korean relations,” said Yang Moo-jin, a professor in the University of North Korean Studies.
“In light of the North’s nature, I do not see anyone who can replace him in his part in daring to offer policy thoughts and guidance to the leader in these areas.”
The Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) described him as Kim Jong-un’s “most beloved & most trustworthy comrade-in-arms. His departure was a “great loss” to the party as well as the individuals, KCNA said, commending him for his “admirable devotion and competence”.
He was also a part of a high level delegation that held talks in August, after cross border tensions reached their one of their greatest points in modern times.
Those discussions in Panmunjom created an agreement that ended the standoff, with both sides agreeing to increase ties to boost, including exchanges between civilians on either side of the heavily armed border dividing the two nations.
But following discussions have made little progress in resolving key problems, including reunions for families separated by war as well as the resumption of cross border tours.
KCNA said Kim, who’d served three generations of the state’s ruling dynasty, perished in an automobile crash at 6.15am on Tuesday.
No other details were given by the bureau, but said Kim Jong-un would head an 80-member organising committee to get a state funeral to be held on Thursday.
Since he took over following the departure of his dad in 2011 the North’s leader has blown off a sequence of top aides.
The reported inclusion of Choe Ryong-hae in Kim Yang-gon’s funeral committee has prompted speculation he continues to be welcomed back following a little while in the political wilderness in the direction fold.
Choe, until recently an integral element of Kim Jong-un’s inner circle, was sent into a farm in November to get “ground-breaking instruction” for mishandling a fresh hydroelectric power plant job, in accordance with South Korean media.