April 17, 2015 12:00
An octogenarian dinosaur in the North Korean regime seems to have finally retired and made way for leader Kim Jong-un's sister.
Footage shows Kim Ki-nam (86), the one-time secretary of North Korea's Workers Party, sitting in the third pew alongside vice-ministerial officials rather than on the leaders platform during the third session of the Supreme People's Assembly in Pyongyang on April 9.
Kim Ki-nam was also not seen on the leaders platform at a rally marking the 103rd birthday of regime founder Kim Il-sung last Tuesday. This suggests he has retired from his job and assumed an honorary post.
Kim Ki-nam became a deputy director of the party's propaganda department and the editor-in-chief of the state-run Rodong Sinmun in 1966. In the 1990s, he worked for former leader Kim Jong-il as the director of the department and secretary of the party in charge of propaganda.
It is highly likely that Kim Jong-un's sister Yo-jong has replaced him.
"Kim Jong-un probably appointed his sister, whom he can trust, as party secretary for propaganda," a source speculated. "Kim Ki-nam's old age was a consideration for a post that is in charge of idolizing the young leader."
North Korean propaganda is famously inept, relying heavily on uniformed song and dance and rhapsodic blather, and the Kims may be trying to inject some new ideas into the stone-age machinery.
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