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Key N. Korean nuke developer dies of heart attack

A North Korean official who played a key role in developing North Korea's nuclear weapons has died of a sudden heart attack, the country's state news agency said Wednesday.

Gen. Jon Pyong-ho died of acute myocardial infarction on Monday at age 88 and his funeral is under way, the North said in an obituary carried by the Korean Central News Agency.

Jon had been a leading figure in North Korea's much-denounced nuclear weapons development, having served as the ruling Workers'

Party secretary in charge of arms development.

Jon made a special contribution to converting North Korea "into a satellite producer and launcher and a nuclear weapons state," the obituary said.

Jon was included in the United Nations' sanctions lists last year following the country's third nuclear test in February.

The North has repeatedly vowed to develop its economy and nuclear arsenal in tandem, viewing its nuclear program as a deterrent against what it claims is Washington's policy of hostility. (Yonhap)

Korea Herald daum