SEOUL, Jan. 23 (Yonhap) -- North Korean leader Kim Jong-un visited a funeral altar for the head of the country's aviation agency, expressing condolences over his death, Pyongyang's state media said Monday.
On Sunday, the North's leader paid his respects to Kang Ki-sop, director-general of the General Administration of Civil Aviation and alternate member of the ruling party's central committee, according to the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).
Kim called him a "revolutionary soldier," saying that Kang successfully ensured the operation of international and domestic regular air service, raising the prestige of the country, the report said.
The visit marks the first time since December 2015 that the North's leader visited the funeral altar of a ranking official. At the time, Kim paid respects to party secretary Kim Yang-gon who died in a traffic accident.
The country's state-own flag carrier Koryo Air is controlled by the aviation body. The airline is among North Korean entities blacklisted by South Korea and the United States in December on suspicion that it helps the regime transfer workers abroad for foreign currency earnings.
Kang was cited as the director-general of the aviation agency in 2005 when the 50th anniversary of its establishment was held, according to the North's media reports.
He was elected as alternate member of the WPK's central committee at a party congress held in May 2016.