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NK newspaper belatedly reports on death of Army general


A North Korean newspaper carried a report Saturday on the 2018 death of a senior military officer who led an Army corps linked to the deadly artillery shelling of a South Korean border island a decade ago.

The Rodong Sinmun, the daily of the North's ruling Workers'

Party, reported that Ri Song-guk, who led the 4th Corps in charge of defending the areas near the Northern Limit Line in the West Sea, the inter-Korean maritime boundary, died in October 2018. He was 52.

Ri, who took command of the corps in early 2013, had received treatment at a hospital in Pyongyang and another overseas after having caught an incurable disease in 2018, according to the newspaper.

The Army unit that mounted an artillery attack against the South's border island of Yeonpyeong in November 2010, killing four South Koreans, including two civilians, falls under the command of the North's 4th Corps.

But during Ri's stint at the helm of the corps, there were not major provocations.

Ri is known to be a close aide to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as he was seen accompanying Kim during the leader's field inspections of major military installations, including those in the western border areas, from 2015 through 2017.

Ri rose to three star rank in April 2017. (Yonhap)