Sun Myung Moon, the self-styled messiah from South Korea who founded the controversial Unification Church and a business empire spanning from cars to sushi, died Monday at the age of 92.

Moon, who was hospitalised with complications from pneumonia more than two weeks ago, died shortly before 2.00am (17.00GMT on Sunday) at a hospital in the church's headquarters in Gapyeong, east of Seoul, Moon's spokesman told AFP.