Kim Jong-un’s sister ‘ready to become world’s first female dictator in modern history’ after squashing death rumours
After recently hitting back at rumours she was dead, Kim Yo-jong is said to be “ready to become the world’s first female dictator in modern history” following a series of shocking statements.
The forimidable 32-year-old is seen as a key figure in the communist country’s regime – second only to her brother – and described as a political “princess”.
In 2014, Yo-jong was named First Deputy Director of the Workers Party’s Propaganda and Agitation Department.
Since then, she has enjoyed a speedy rise to power after first emerging alongside her brother on the world stage during his summits with Donald Trump in 2018, following her international debut at the at the Pyeongchang Winter Olympics in Korea in February that year.
Sources inside North Korea have claimed Kim Yo-jong is attempting to secure her power within the regime by taking on the South.
Her tyrannical brother is said to want to ensure she has enough support to take over as a type of queen regent – should he die before his 12-year-old son comes of age.
Yo-jong reportedly needs to win some “revolutionary achievements” to get the support in North Korea’s highly traditional ruling class.
In June, Yo-jong hit out at South Korea after allegedly being behind the demolition of a highly symbolic liaison office.
Pyongyang blew up the building in the border town of Kaesong as part of a brazenly staged slap to Seoul’s face after the South spent millions refurbishing it in 2018.
It had been opened to symbolise a new future of peace and cooperation between the feuding nations, which have remained technically at war since 1950.
Kim’s sister is believed to be the mastermind behind the renewed aggressive approach to their traditionally hated neighbour.
Then after months of silence, mystery over her whereabouts lead to speculation she has been purged by her brother — who is famed for executing rivals.
It came as rumours gathered pace that Kim Jong-un was in a coma and power was about to pass to her.
But Yo-jong recently resurfaced to warn the South Korean Foreign Minister that she will “pay dearly” for her “reckless remarks” about North Korea, after claims the dictatorship had no Covid cases was questioned.
Yo-jong told Kang Kyung-wha her comments could “further chill the frozen relations between the north and south of Korea”.
Yo-jong is widely acknowledged as the leader of the Organisation and Guidance Department, a mysterious agency that watches the ongoings of the government, the ruling party and top levels of the army.
In her position as first vice director of the OGD, she has the authority to exact penalties ranging from exile to minor posts in the countryside to imprisonment and death.
But Lee Sung-yoon, a professor at Tuft Universiry’s Fletcher School who is writing a book about her, says “her blue blood supersedes formal titles”, according to the Daily Beast.
He added: “She is the de facto No. 2 in the DPRK (North Korean) hierarchy and the only true confidante of consequence for Kim Jong-un.”
Yo-jpng is also believed to be the fist vice director of the United Front Department.
Lee added: “By the authority granted by her brother Kim Jong Un, the Party, and the State, she will henceforth punish South Korea, which she designated an ‘enemy.’”
Kim Jong-un, however does not like being characterised as “potentially dead or dying and his sister as a potential replacement”, according to Bruce Bennett, Korea expert at Rand.
He added: “That could undermine his position inside North Korea.”
Former top diplomat Evans Revere sayings Kim Jong-un “evidently does not see her as a threat”.
He added: “She has to be careful not to overshadow Kim Jong-un and has cultivated the image of someone who is clearly subordinate to him.”
According to Bruce Klingner, Asia expert at the Heritage Foundation, the real test of Yo-jong’s influence may come in dealing with the incoming Biden administration.
She once “dismissed the likelihood or necessity of further US-North Korean dialgoue,” he said, but “left the door open if Washington capitulated to Pyongyang’s demands.”
Klingner added she’s “likely the second most powerful person in North Korea” and the one who her brother “trusts the most”.