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`N. Korean helicopter crash kills 5 Cabinet-level officials`

`N. Korean helicopter crash kills 5 Cabinet-level officials`

Posted February. 17, 2012 08:01,   


A North Korean helicopter crash has killed five of the Stalinist country`s Cabinet-level officials, including Commerce Minister Kim Bong Chol, reported the NK Daily, a Seoul-based online news outlet on the North, Thursday.

The helicopter was carrying presents for residents of an island to celebrate the 70th anniversary of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il. The report said the helicopter was headed for Suun Island in the Yellow Sea in North Pyongan Province with gifts Tuesday and hit a rock while landing. A North Korean source quoted people as saying "Those who are alive were killed to celebrate the dead leader’s birthday."

A South Korean official said, “We know nothing about the crash.”

The North`s state-run Korean Central News Agency said Wednesday, “Kim Jong Un, vice chairman of the Central Military Commission of the Workers’ Party, sent a plane to deliver special gifts to children on islands in the Yellow Sea.” It reported no crash.

State-run TV in the North also aired live Kim Jong Un visiting his father’s coffin at the Kumsusan Solar Palace (former Kumsusan Memorial Palace) and Kim Jong Il’s fourth wife Kim Ok mourning his death. A military event was held in front of the palace to mark the late leader`s birthday and pledge loyalty to his successor.

There was also no report of special food distribution to residents, but it could come on April 15, the centennial birthday of North Korea founder Kim Il Sung.