North Korea

North Korea forms new sports body led by Kim’s uncle

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 November, 2012, 7:35pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 29 August, 2013, 4:13am

North Korea’s ruling communist party on Sunday announced a new sports body headed by the uncle of leader Kim Jong-un, state media said.

Jang Song-thaek was named head of the State Physical Culture and Sports Guidance Commission, which will “control the overall sports work of the country in a unified manner”, according to the official Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Jang – the husband of late leader Kim Jong-il’s sister Kim Kyong-hui – is seen as a key figure in the North’s power elite.

The formation of the commission, aimed at helping the North become a global “sports power”, comes after the secretive and impoverished communist country won four gold and two bronze medals at this year’s London Olympics – in weightlifting, judo and wrestling.

Athletes thanked past and present rulers for their performance. Official propaganda bestows near-godlike status on the Kim dynasty, who are customarily credited with inspiring all national achievements.