“North Korea’s Goebbels”: Kim’s former propaganda chief is dead

As director of the Propaganda and Insurgency Department, Kim Ki-nam exerted enormous influence over the media, arts and publications in North Korea for decades.

North Korea’s longtime propaganda chief Kim Kim died on Tuesday at the age of 94 from the effects of old age and multiple organ failure, state media in the largely isolated country said on Wednesday. As director of the propaganda and insurgency department of the ruling Workers’ Party, Kim served under three rulers. Kim was once popular in South Korea, where he was compared to Nazi propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels.

Hence he was also called “Goebbels of North Korea”. According to reports, the government is making preparations for the funeral of the deceased. Leader Kim Jong-un, along with the former party secretary and “workman,” visited the pier to offer his heartfelt condolences. It said Kim Ki-nam “played an outstanding role in fully establishing the single leadership system of worthy comrade Kim Jong-un.” Kim Jong-un is the grandson of “Eternal President” Kim Il-sung and the son of former ruler Kim Jong-il, who died in late 2011.

Kim Ki-nam served at party headquarters for more than four decades, experts at the North Korea Leadership Watch website wrote during his lifetime. Accordingly, he exerted great influence over “the country’s press, media, fine arts and publishing industry”. He was also instrumental in authorizing or writing articles, slogans and other media productions in support of power. This website is linked to 38 North America, the Stimson Center’s North Korea-focused news site.

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In August 2009, Kim Jong-il sent a delegation led by Kim Ki-nam to the funeral of recently deceased South Korean former president Kim Dae-jung in Seoul. (APA/dpa)

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