France – World – Death of North Korea’s former propaganda chief

France – World – Death of North Korea’s former propaganda chief
France – World – Death of North Korea’s former propaganda chief

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un silently mourned Wednesday morning in front of the coffin “with bitter grief at the loss of a veteran revolutionary who remained unfailingly loyal” to the regime, KCNA reported.

Kim Ki Nam, hospitalized since 2022, died due to his old age and “multiple organ dysfunction,” the agency said.

Kim Ki Nam is best known for heading North Korea’s agitation and propaganda department from 1989 to 2017, after serving as editor-in-chief of the state newspaper Rodong Sinmun in the 1970s. He also served as vice-president of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK).

He began his career under Kim Il Sung, in power in Pyongyang between 1948 and 1994, and was considered a close friend of his son and successor Kim Jong Il (1994-2011).

He was the author of the main slogans of the regime and the speeches of its leaders. He is also considered the mastermind of the personality cult around the Kim family, through numerous articles and essays, and by supporting the hereditary transmission of power in North Korea.

KCNA described him on Wednesday as “a veteran of our party and the revolution, a prestigious theorist and a leading political activist.”

In 2015, images broadcast by state media showed the late senior official, in his eighties at the time, diligently taking notes in front of Kim Jong Un, around fifty years his junior.

His role as the regime’s top propaganda chief eventually passed to Kim Jong Un’s powerful sister, Kim Yo Jong, in 2018.

In 2009, Kim Ki Nam led a North Korean delegation to South Korea to attend the funeral of former President Kim Dae-jung, a supporter of dialogue with the North and who made a historic visit to Pyongyang in 2000.

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