According to the Chosun Ilbo « Kim Kyok-sik, North Korea’s former hardline armed forces minister, died Sunday, the official Rodong Sinmun daily said Monday. He was 77. Kim masterminded the sinking of the South Korean Navy corvette Cheonan in March 2010 and the shelling of Yeonpyeong Island in November the same year.
The obituary identified Kim as a member of the Workers Party Central Committee, a deputy of the Supreme People’s Assembly, and an Army general. It said that he died of acute respiratory failure caused by metastatic cancer at 00:30 a.m. Sunday. In early 2013, Kim visited Cuba as the North’s Army chief, but he disappeared from public view later that year amid rumors that he was in bad health.