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North Korea’s Former Propaganda Master, Kim Dies

North Korea’s former propaganda chief Kim Ki Nam has died at the age of 94

North Korea’s former propaganda master, Kim Ki Nam has died, state media said on Wednesday.

He reportedly died at the age of 94.

He died due to old age and “multiple organ dysfunction” for which he had been receiving treatment since 2022, the official KCNA said.

Kim had spent decades leading propaganda efforts in the totalitarian state, including building a personality cult around the ruling Kim dynasty.

North Korean leader, Kim Jong Un, attended his funeral early on Wednesday morning and paid tribute to the “veteran revolutionary who had remained boundlessly loyal” to the regime, KCNA said.

South Korea’s Yonhap News Agency likened him to Nazi Germany’s propaganda boss, Joseph Goebbels, widely known for his mantra “repeat a lie often enough and it becomes the truth”.

Kim Ki Nam, who has no blood relations to the ruling patriarchy, was appointed deputy director of Pyongyang’s Propaganda and Agitation Department in 1966, where he worked closely with Kim Jong Il, the predecessor and father of current leader Kim Jong Un.

Kim Ki Nam later rose to lead the department.

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Kim Ki Nam reportedly had a close relationship with Kim Jong Il, with several media reports describing them as “drinking buddies”.

In the 1970s, he was put in charge of the state mouthpiece, Rodong Sinmun newspaper.

He later led initiatives to establish the role of Kim Il Sung — widely seen as North Korea’s founding father — in the country’s history, and to support Kim Jong Il’s succession of the leadership, according to North Korea Leadership Watch, a site on Pyongyang’s political culture.

For decades, he also served as the key author of the state’s political slogans and wielded great influence over its media and publishing operations, and even in the fine arts.

In 2015, images on state media showed the tall, bespectacled official — in his 80s at that time — standing among a group of military officials and taking notes while Kim Jong Un spoke.

He retired in the late 2010s, passing on his role to Kim Jong Un’s sister Kim Yo Jong, but has continued to appear at public events — a sign that he remained on good terms with the regime. — BBC

Source: BBC via SG.

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