SEOUL, May 23 (UPI) -- A senior North Korean official who had gone missing in 2015 has been officially appointed director-secretariat of a committee that focuses on inter-Korea relations.
Won Dong Yon, who may have been purged in connection to a bribery scandal brought to light after the arrest of Korean Canadian pastor Hyeon Soo Lim, was mentioned in an announcement from North Korea's KCNA on Sunday.
Won was also included in a roster of top official names made public during a North Korea announcement last December for inter-Korea negotiator Kim Yang Gon's state funeral committee.
Kim allegedly died in a car crash on Dec. 29.
KCNA said the appointment suits North Korea's aspirations toward "peaceful unification."
"North and South need to actively develop different levels of dialogue and negotiation in order to overcome misunderstanding and distrust, and to move together toward national unification and a common prosperity," the statement read.
The announcement also warned the South against raising the issue of nuclear weapons, which creates "confrontation among a unitary people."
Prior to his disappearance Won was the deputy head of the United Front Department of the Korean Workers' Party. His new appointment is with the Committee for the Peaceful Reunification of the Fatherland.
Won's predecessor Kang Ji Un was appointed president of the North Korean Catholic Association's Central Committee last October, News 1 reported.