What happened to Kim Yo Jong, the influential sister of North Korea’s leader? A question raised by many observers of the isolated and nuclear-armed state affairs after it failed to appear in the lineup of absolute leader Kim Jong Un that was recently announced for the country’s powerful political bureau.
Some say Kim Jong Un may have demoted his sister due to public policy failures, however, others believe he may be concerned about her rapid rise and growing fame as he tries to consolidate his domestic power in the face of mounting economic challenges.
Oh, Jeong Seob, an analyst at the Korea Institute for National Unification in Seoul said that rumors that Kim Yoo Jong is the heir to her brother could be dangerous as it “raises the issue of Kim’s control of power and health in North Korea,” adding that this is the reason for curtailing her powers and slowing her rise up the ladder. Power by Kim Jong Un.
The development comes as a surprise because Kim Yoo Jong, who became an alternate member of the Politburo last year, was supposed to attain full bureau membership during the ruling Labor Party conference that ended its work on Tuesday. Membership of the Politburo is seen as essential for high-ranking officials hoping to secure positions in Kim Jong Un’s government because he often made major decisions during bureau meetings, including his 2013 decision to execute his powerful uncle Jang Song Taek and get rid of military commander Ri Yong Ho. The year 2012.
During the opening of the eight-day conference last week, the first of its kind since 2016, Kim Yoo Jong, who is believed to be 32 years old, sat on the leadership stage where she appeared among the elderly party cadres, most of them men, but her name did not hesitate when announcing The House on Monday released a list of 30 alternate and full members of the Politburo, including 37-year-old Kim Jong Un.
Ki Yoo Jong has not been eliminated or forced out of politics like some officials under Kim Jong Un have been since she still retains her membership in the Party Central Committee, a high-profile body but when she issued a statement criticizing South Korea on Wednesday, state media described it as “Deputy Director of the administration” of the party, a rank lower than her previous title of “first deputy director of administration.”
Kim Jong Un called on his 25 million people to rally behind his leadership to overcome what he described as the “worst ever” difficulties facing the country as North Korea received economic shocks linked to the Coronavirus, and a series of natural disasters last summer and ongoing US-led sanctions due to Pursuit of illegal nuclear weapons. During the conference, Kim pledged to expand his nuclear arsenal and build a stronger economy that relies on itself.
“The goal of the conference is to solidify Kim Jong Un’s leadership. If Kim Yoo Jong had become a full member of the Politburo, all eyes would have been on her. It would likely become a burden on Kim Jong Un,” said Ko Yong Hwan, former vice president of the National Security Strategy Institute. , A research center run by South Korea’s spy agency, during a TV news program on Monday.
Previously unknown to foreigners, Kim Yo Jong has made a political breakthrough since her brother inherited power shortly after their father, Kim Jong Il, died in late 2011.
The current Kim family is the third generation of the family that rules North Korea, and their leadership is based on a cult of personality, which took root after their grandfather Kim Il-sung founded the country in 1948. The legendary “Paektu” dynasty, named after North Korea’s holiest mountain population, allows Only for the immediate family members ruling the country.
Kim Yo Jong shined internationally during her brother’s high-stakes nuclear diplomacy with President Donald Trump and other world leaders in 2018 and 2019. During those meetings, her closeness to Kim Jong Un sparked speculation that she was serving as her brother’s chief of staff.
In South Korea, sh
Last year, it abruptly changed course by unleashing harsh rhetoric against South Korea and pressuring the United States to make concessions amid faltering nuclear diplomacy. North Korea’s state media said it was responsible for relations with South Korea, and outside experts speculated that it might take over US affairs as well.
In its Wednesday statement, Seoul criticized the provocation of Yang Yong by announcing that it had detected intelligence that North Korea held a military training parade for such a show this week.
When unconfirmed global rumors about Kim Jong Un’s health spread last year, some observers said Kim Yoo Jong is next in line to rule North Korea if her brother becomes incapacitated. South Korea’s spy agency later said it was effectively the country’s second-in-command, but had not been named an heir to her brother.
“It is possible that Kim Jong Un held his sister responsible for the deterioration of foreign relations as she did not achieve any achievements in relations with the United States and South Korea,” said Kim Yeol-soo, an analyst at the South Korean Institute of Military Affairs.
Regardless of the reason for her apparent loss of the Politburo function, many experts say her political influence likely remains unchanged thanks to her direct association with the Paektu dynasty. There is also a feeling that Kim Jong Un could finally give her another high-profile job.
Analyst Oh Jeong-seob considers that Kim Yoo Jong is likely to be the second most powerful woman in North Korean history after Kim Sung Ay, the late second wife of Kim Il Sung. Oh said, “Kim Yoo Jong can meet and talk to Kim Jong Un freely at any time, so we cannot say that she has a tremendous influence and as she ages, her roles will get bigger,” but he warned that her rise could come to an end if she desires more power. “She should be careful about that,” he stressed.
built an image as a “messenger of peace” after attending the opening ceremony of the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, becoming the first member of the North Korean ruling family to visit the South since the end of the 1950-1953 Korean War.