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North Korean nuclear and missile expert dies; nation fires more missiles

Published on Jul 9, 2014 9:21 AM
 
This undated picture released from North Korea's official Korean Central News Agency on June 30, 2014 shows North Korean leader Kim Jong-Un (right) observing a tactical rocket launch by the Korean People's Army Strategic Force at an undisclosed place in North Korea. A former North Korean missile expert who was sanctioned by the United Nations for his role in the North's nuclear and missile weapons programmes has died, state media said on Wednesday. -- PHOTO: AFP / KCNA VIA KNS

SEOUL (Reuters) - A former North Korean missile expert who was sanctioned by the United Nations for his role in the North's nuclear and missile weapons programmes has died, state media said on Wednesday.

The announcement of Mr Jon Pyong Ho's death came as North Korea launched short-range missiles into its eastern waters in the early hours of Wednesday.

The missiles, which a South Korean joint chiefs of staff official said appeared to be ballistic Scud-class missiles, were launched from a province in western North Korea and flew about 500km before crashing into waters to the north-east.

Mr Jon, a highly decorated general in the Korean People's Army (KPA) and senior Worker's Party of Korea (WPK) figure, died aged 88 of natural causes, state media said. "He made a special contribution to turning the KPA into a powerful elite revolutionary army equipped with modern and defensive means and converting the DPRK into a satellite producer, launcher, and a nuclear weapons state," official KCNA news agency said, using the North's official acronym.

 
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