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Before she was RiSe, she wanted to be Miss Korea

Tributes to RiSe have been flooding the Internet since her death as fans shared stories that celebrated her life.

The 23-year-old Korean singer, who was born Kwon Ri Sae in Fukushima City, Japan, was affectionately known as the "mother" of Ladies' Code because of her caring and protective nature.

She was especially close to EunB, 21, who died shortly after the accident last Wednesday.

Ladies' Code, a rookie K-pop girl group, made their debut with the mini-album Code#01 last March.

Last month, the music video for their latest single, Kiss Kiss, was released on Loen Music's official YouTube channel.

Before RiSe joined the band last year under management agency Polaris Entertainment, she was a model and Miss Korea 2009 contestant.

Winners from the pageant go on to compete in international pageants such as Miss World and Miss Universe.

RiSe was also one of the top 12 finalists in the first season of Korean TV talent scouting show, Star Audition The Great Birth (2010).

Her only controversy was being accused of being part of Jo Chong Ryun, the North Korean organisation in Japan, after it was discovered she had performed in front of the late North Korean leader Kim Jong Il.

NO CHOICE

Her previous management agency, Key East Entertainment, said it was a misunderstanding.

Its spokesman told Korean media agency Sports Seoul: "It is true that Kwon Ri Sae, a fourth generation Korean-Japanese immigrant, attended Chosun School, which is part of Jo Chong Ryun.

"But there weren't that many Korean schools in Japan back then, and Ri Sae was living in a small town so she didn't have much choice. We heard there were only five students per class."

According to the report, RiSe showed exceptional skills as a professional dancer in school and was invited to perform during Kim Jong Il's birthday party in North Korea.

The spokesman added: "She was in elementary school (then) and you don't really have a political opinion at that age."