SEOUL, Nov. 8 (Yonhap) — Ri Ul-sol, an iconic North Korean politician and military official, died of lung cancer last week, the country’s state media reported Sunday.
The North announced that it will hold a state funeral for Ri, who was 94, and that leader Kim Jong-un will lead a preparatory committee.
He was an anti-Japanese guerrilla in the early 1900s, working with Kim Il-sung, who later founded the communist nation.
“He dedicated his all to the sacred cause of liberating the country by participating in the glorious anti-Japanese armed struggle led by President Kim Il Sung (Kim Il-sung) in the dark period of the Japanese imperialist rule,” the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) said.
Ri played a key role in the regimes of Kim Il-sung and Kim Jong-il, gaining the title of marshal of the North’s military. But his role and influence had dwindled markedly since Kim Jong-un took power in late 2011.
His funeral will be held Wednesday, according to the KCNA.