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(LEAD) Gov't official in charge of cryptocurrency policy found dead at home

All Headlines 21:23 February 18, 2018

(ATTN: RECASTS to disclose name of deceased; ADDS updates)

SEOUL, Feb. 18 (Yonhap) -- A ranking official in charge of devising measures against cryptocurrency speculation was found dead at his home in Seoul on Sunday, according to his office and police.

Jung Ki-joon, head of the Economic Policy Coordination Office under the Office for Government Policy Coordination, is presumed to have suffered a heart attack while sleeping, police said. He had already stopped breathing when his family went into his room to wake him up in the morning.

Police said they will determine the exact cause of his death once they get the results from the coroner's office.

His colleagues apparently raised the possibility of stress as what may have led to his unexpected death. They said he had been under a lot of pressure since taking charge of the counter-cyber money team at the office late last year.

South Korea's government launched a meeting of vice ministers, led by Hong Nam-ki, minister of the Office for Government Policy Coordination, in late November last year to regulate cryptocurrency transactions and curb market overheating.

(LEAD) Gov't official in charge of cryptocurrency policy found dead at home - 1

The deceased official was in charge of coordinating the opinions of different ministries and offices to prepare for the weekly meetings of Hong and relevant vice ministers.

Cryptocurrencies have rapidly gained popularity among South Korean investors hoping to make quick money. Despite a boom in cryptocurrency transactions, the exchanges go largely unregulated in South Korea as they are not recognized as financial products.

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