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Tuesday, Feb. 21, 2012

Chongryon chief So Man Sul is dead at 84


So Man Sul, chairman of the pro-Pyongyang General Association of Korean Residents in Japan (Chongryon), died Sunday, officials of the association said Monday. He was 84.

A native of North Gyeongsang Province, he came to Japan in 1941 and was later involved in the establishment of the group in 1955.

After serving as chairman of the group's Hiroshima Prefecture chapter and as deputy chairman of the association, So became the second chairman of Chongryon in May 2001 following the death of its first chairman, Han Tok Su.

So had to deal with the prickly relations between Japan and North Korea, including the abductions of Japanese citizens in the 1970s and 1980s, as well as the collapse of several credit unions that were helping pro-Pyongyang Korean residents in Japan.

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