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Ex-NK admiral responsible for Yeonpyeong naval skirmishes dies

Former North Korean naval chief Kim Yun-sim (Yonhap)
Former North Korean naval chief Kim Yun-sim (Yonhap)
A former North Korean admiral, who led the country's navy at the time of bloody naval skirmishes with South Korea in 1999 and 2002, has died and his remains have been buried at a national cemetery, the official Korean Central News Agency reported Sunday.

Kim Yun-sim, who served as naval chief from 1997-2007, was buried at the Patriotic Martyrs Cemetery in Sinmi-ri on Friday, the KCNA said, praising him for "defending the country, people and revolution remaining boundlessly faithful to the leadership of the Party Central Committee till the last moments of his life."

"The respected Comrade Kim Jong-un lavished great trust and love on him for his contribution to developing the Juche-oriented naval force and made sure that his remains were buried in the Patriotic Martyrs Cemetery," it said.

The KCNA did not say when the former commander died.

He led the North's navy when the two Koreas fought skirmishes near the tense western maritime border on June 15, 1999, and on June 29, 2002, which are known in South Korea as Yeonpyeong naval battles, named after an island near the sea border.

In both battles, the North opened fire first. In the first battle, the South sustained little damage, while one North Korean boat sank and five others were damaged. But in the second battle, both sides suffered damage, with one South Korean boat sinking and six sailors being killed. (Yonhap)

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