North Korea confirms younger brother of founder dies but wont say how or when

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The brother of the founder of North Korea, Kim Yong-ju, has died, aged 101.

But nobody is quite sure how Kim Jong-un's great-uncle died, or where he was at the time.

The country's current leader expressed his “deep condolences” over the death of his uncle, and a wreath was sent to other family members, local news reports.

A spokesman said: “Kim Yong-ju devotedly struggled to implement the Workers' Party lines and policies and made a contribution to accelerating socialist construction and developing the Korean-style state social system, while working at important posts of the party and the state for many years."

However, the reports coming out of the reclusive communist country have yet to clarify how the elderly man died, or, in fact, where he was when he died either.

And his exact age when he died is unclear, because his exact birthday is unknown.

He was born in 1920, and most media are reporting his age as 101, but nobody knows for sure.

When his father, Kim Il-sung ran the country, Kim Yong-ju was viewed as the second most powerful man in the country, and was thought to be the one to take his place when his dad died.

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However, he faded from the scene after a few years, and his brother, Kim Jong-Il took over the directorship of the Worker's Party in 1973, instead.

He did serves as honorary vice-chairman of the standing committee of the Supreme People’s Assembly, and his last appearance in public was made in 2015, when state TV showed him bowing before the portraits of Kim Il Sung and Kim Jong Il after casting a ballot during local elections.

The chances of ever finding out the details of his death are slim, given the secretive nature of the closed-off country.

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