Washingtonian Post | By Thawngno
Kim Yo-jong is the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. She is due to attend the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in South Korea. Much about Kim Yo-jong was unknown other than she was educated in Switzerland and has risen high enough up the ranks that she briefly ran the country while her brother recovered from an illness in 2014.
Kim Yo-jong 30, daughter of former North Korean leader Kim Jong-il and Ko Yong-hui, was born on September 26, 1987. She and Kim Jong-un were born to the same mother, and said to have a close relationship, due to shared isolated years while studying together in Bern, Switzerland from 1996 to 2000, and in North Korea, “where social and emotional isolation appears to have been a defining force in their early lives.
She was first spotted in a photo session for participants at the 3rd Conference of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK) in September 2010, when she stood next to her father’s personal secretary and alleged mistress Kim Ok.
Kim Yo-jong was given much publicity during the funeral service for Kim Jong-il in December 2011, when she appeared several times alongside her brother Kim Jong-un or leading funeral processions of central officials, despite not even being a funeral committee member, and she was never named. She was then reportedly given a position under the National Defence Commission at the beginning of 2012 as tour manager for Kim Jong-un.
In October 2014, she was reported to have possibly taken over state duties for her ailing brother while Kim Jong-un underwent medical treatment.
On 28 November 2014, she was named vice director of the Workers Party’s Propaganda and Agitation Department, Reuters reported. Since March 2015, she has been its head. After she was appointed in the Workers Party’s Propaganda and Agitation Department, she regularly accompanied her brother, Kim Jong-un on his “field guidance” trips.
On 24 July 2015, Kim Yo-jong was put in charge of North Korea’s Propaganda and Agitation Department.
She was said to be the driving force behind the development her brother’s cult of personality, modelled after that of their grandfather, Kim Il-sung. This would help explain changes in the way state policies are depicted in the media, as well as differences in reporting. She replaced Thae Yong-ho, a North Korean defector and former diplomat.
She is said to be the inspiration behind his visits to theme parks, schools and the homes of ordinary people, and his unlikely friendship with the former NBA star Dennis Rodman.
She was blacklisted along with six senior North Korean officials by US Treasury Department, in January 2017, because of human rights abuses and censorship.
In 2017, Kim Yo-jong was made an alternate member of the politburo – the top decision-making body over which Kim Jong Un presides. Alongside Kim Jong Un himself, the promotion makes Kim Yo-jong the only other millennial member of the influential body. Her new position indicates the 28-year-old has become a replacement for Kim Jong-un’s aunt, Kim Kyong-hui, who had been a key decision maker when former leader Kim Jong-il was alive. It has also been hinted that her newly assigned position would also put her in charge of the State Security Department.
In January 2015, Kim Yo-jong reportedly married to Choe Song, the son of Choe Ryong-hae, a North Korean officials. But, South Korean government sources denied the accuracy of these reports. Kim Yo-jong was pregnant and expecting a child in May 2015. Although the identity of the father is not clearly known, there is speculation that he is an alumnus of Kim Il-sung University,” Saenuri Party lawmaker Lee Cheol-woo said. He added there is no information on the husband’s family background.
In Feb 2018, it was announced that Kim Yo-jong would attend the Winter Olympics in Seoul, South Korea which will start on Friday. Kim Yo Jong would be the first member of North Korea’s ruling family to visit the South since the 1950-53 Korean War. The North Korean delegation will also include the country’s nominal head of state Kim Yong Nam.
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