As questions surrounding North Korean chief Kim Jong Un’s doable demise attain a fever pitch, Kim Yo Jong—the disappearing dictator’s sister and closest confidante—takes the highlight and, perhaps, the highest job.
While she rocketed to worldwide consideration in the course of the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea, Yo Jong (like many in her household) is a considerably mysterious determine, with fundamental particulars like her actual age (someplace in her early thirties), unconfirmed by the North Korean regime.
A favourite of her late father Kim Jong Il, she attended college in Switzerland, The Washington Post reviews, the place she took ballet classes earlier than returning to North Korea within the early 2000s.
Nicknamed the “Ivanka Trump of North Korea,” Kim Yo Jong mentioned final month that President Trump and her brother had “special and firm personal relations,” regardless of the continued battle across the latter’s nuclear weapons, an arsenal the rising chief appears keen to guard.
Responsible for pushing North Korean propaganda and defending her brother’s repute, she lately referred to as South Korea a “frightened dog barking” for objecting to a live-fire army demonstration by the state, the Guardian notes.
In an indication of her rising energy, Yo Jong was named an alternate member of the North Korean politburo earlier this month.
“She is smart, calculating, and who knows how much power she has been able to build working in the shadows?” North Korean skilled Bruce Bennett instructed the Daily Beast.
WHAT TO WATCH FOR
“Among the North’s power elite, Kim Yo Jong has the highest chance to inherit power, and I think that possibility is more than 90%,” an analyst instructed the Associated Press. However, she’s not the one one who could also be jockeying for the promotion, and the nation’s patriarchal construction might undercut her probabilities. Some speculate collective management spearheaded by ceremonial head of state Choe Ryong Hae could also be applied, ending the Kim household’s dynastic rule. Kim Yo Jong might serve solely as a short lived figurehead within the interim. And after all, any substitute hinges on Kim Jong Un’s precise demise or incapacitation, which continues to be unknown.
Kim’s final official public look was April 11, the place in line with North Korean state media reviews, he held a gathering of the ruling Workers’ Party committee of policymakers. While it’s common for him to vanish from the general public eye for even weeks at a time, hypothesis has mounted that the chief, who has a historical past of well being issues, is both useless or gravely ailing.
North Korea’s Disappearing Leader: Speculation Grows Around Kim Jong Un’s Health (Forbes)
Kim Yo Jong, Kim Jong Un’s Kid Sister, is ‘Feared,’ ‘Respected’ Inside North Korea (Daily Beast)
Who is Kim Yo Jong? Here’s what we all know concerning the North Korean ‘princess.’ (Washington Post)
Kim Yo-jong: the sister of Kim Jong-un, quick ‘changing into his alter ego’ (The Guardian)