Choe Thae-bok, Longest-Serving Chairman of North Korea’s Parliament, Dies at 93

SEOUL - Choe Thae-bok, the former chairman of the Supreme People's Assembly (SPA) in North Korea, has passed away at the age of 93, as reported by the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA) on Sunday. The SPA is known as North Korea's rubber-stamp legislature.

According to Yonhap News Agency, North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, along with secretaries of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers' Party, visited Choe's funeral bier at dawn on Sunday to pay respects and express deep condolences. The KCNA noted that Kim Jong-un paid silent tribute to Choe, recognizing his "distinguished feats in the struggle for the development of the Workers' Party of Korea (WPK) and the Democratic People's Republic of Korea (DPRK) government," acknowledging his loyalty, revolutionary principle, and devoted service to the country and its people.

The DPRK, the official name for North Korea, has lost a prominent figure in Choe, who was lauded by the KCNA as a faithful revolutionary fighter to President Kim Il-sung and Chairman Kim Jong-il. Choe was regarded as a veteran political activist who contributed significantly to the Juche revolutionary cause, the self-reliance ideology that is central to North Korea's ruling philosophy. Kim Il-sung, the national founder and grandfather of current leader Kim Jong-un, and Kim Jong-il, the son of the national founder and father of the current leader, were among the leaders Choe served under.

Choe, believed to be the longest-serving chairman in the North's parliament, held the position from 1998 until 2019. Throughout the three generations of North Korea's leadership, he remained loyal to the regime and served in key roles in education and foreign affairs.

His last public appearance was during the celebration of North Korea's founding day on September 9, 2022.

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