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Key North Korean ruling party section headed by Kim’s right-hand man Choe Ryong Hae: Seoul

Kyodo

Choe Ryong Hae, regarded as the right-hand man of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has been appointed to head the ruling party’s organization and guidance department, South Korea’s Unification Ministry confirmed on Thursday.

With the appointment, Choe, a vice chairman of the Workers’ Party of Korea who last October was made a member of the party’s powerful Central Military Commission, is now in charge of overseeing personnel policy for party officials.

The key post was held by Kim Jong Il when he was in power and his son, Kim Jong Un, was believed to have held it after his father’s death in late 2011.

North Korean state media reported last year that Choe was named as a director of a party department during a general meeting of the party’s central committee in October, but it was unclear which department he heads.