Kim Yo Jong in de facto power of PAD

Lee Sang Yong  |  2015-07-20 17:01
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Ending months of speculation, Daily NK has learned that Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Uns younger sister, has been put in charge of idolization projects for the leadership within the Propaganda and Agitation Department [PAD], while the head of the group, Kim Ki Nam, has been relegated to a supportive role therein. 

A source close to North Korea in Japan told Daily NK on the 20th, Kim Yo Jong is assisting in consolidating Kim Jong Uns power, which is what her aunt, Kim Kyong Hui, once did. As vice director of the Propaganda and Agitation Department, Kim Yo Jong is actually in power and leading idolization projects related to Kim Jong Un.     

This news was corroborated by an additional source within North Korea, but for her safety Daily NK cannot release her region. 

The source added that Kim Jong Un, currently in his fourth year at the helm of North Korea, directly assigned his sister to the project in order to fortify idolization projects perpetuating the regimes cult of personality, a cornerstone of the system. 

It is said that Kim Jong Un has the utmost trust and confidence in his sister, he asserted, speculating that Kim Jong Un saw his sister as the most apt person to undertake the task of promulgating the Greatest Dignity, given that she herself shares the legitimating bloodline [Baekdu bloodline] of the North Korean leadership widely and frequently proclaimed by official propaganda outlets. 

Her status as his biological sister places her on a pedestal of trust amid the leaders cycle of purges, which the source described as indicative of Kim Jong Uns overall lack of trust among the Party cadres surrounding him. 

In order to create the opportunity for his sisters rise in rank, Kim Jong Un deemed Kim Ki Nams idolization work subpar, demoting him to an advisory position that, while prestigious, possesses a decided lack of authority, according to the source. 

Notably, an advisory post has hitherto never existed in North Korea, and was made specifically for Kim Ki Nam, whose age, 89, was also thought to play significantly into his demotion into the freshly created position.

Kim Ki Nam was appointed to the position of deputy director of the Korean Workers' Party PAD in 1966 and later went on to become the editor-in-chief of the Party-run publication, Rodong Sinmun. Eventually, Kim became the PADs director in the 1990s and the Party secretary in charge of propaganda. 

Throughout all of these posts, Kim continued to head up idolization projects, but speculation of his position surfaced when he appeared in the audience rather than the podium during the third session of the 13th Supreme Peoples Assembly held back in April.  

*The content of this article was broadcast to the North Korean people via Unification Media Group.

*Translated by Jihae Lee

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