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President Lee orders all officials on emergency status after Kim's death

All Headlines 13:09 December 19, 2011

SEOUL, Dec. 19 (Yonhap) -- President Lee Myung-bak ordered Monday all government officials to be placed on emergency response status, following the death of North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.

Under the order, all government officials are restricted from taking leave or traveling and required to maintain emergency contact with their offices, officials said.

North Korea's state media reported earlier in the day that the 69-year-old Kim died of a massive heart attack on Saturday, while on board a train during one of his field trips.

Lee was holding an emergency National Security Council meeting with security-related ministers, including Prime Minister Kim Hwang-sik, Foreign Minister Kim Sung-hwan and Defense Minister Kim Kwan-jin, to discuss countermeasures after Kim's death.

South Korea's military has been placed on emergency alert and its foreign ministry also placed its overseas diplomatic missions on an emergency standby.

kdh@yna.co.kr
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