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SEOUL (Reuters) - North Korea has dismissed the minister of state security, considered a key aide to the secretive state's leader, Kim Jong Un, South Korea said on Friday, following a series of high-level purges under the young leader.

Kim Won Hong was removed from office in mid-January apparently on charges of corruption, abuse of power and human rights abuses, Jeong Joon-hee, South Korea's Unification Ministry spokesman, said, confirming media reports.

(Reporting by Ju-min Park and Jack Kim; Editing by Nick Macfie)