Ending months of speculation, Daily NK has
learned that Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un’s 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 Un’s
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
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
regime’s 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 leader’s cycle of purges, which the source
described as “indicative of Kim Jong Un’s overall lack of trust among the Party
cadres surrounding him.”
In order to create the opportunity for his
sister’s rise in rank, Kim Jong Un deemed Kim Ki Nam’s 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 PAD’s 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 People’s Assembly held back in April.
*The content of this article was broadcast to the North Korean people via Unification Media Group.