Kim Yo Jong-won fame ahead of her brother Kim Jong Un’s 2019 summit with the US President Donald Trump in Vietnam. Despite she is serving as his “de facto second-in-command” in North Korea, Kim Yo Jong-won has not necessarily been designated Kim’s successor, the Asian Review reports.
The changes in North Korea’s political Olympus is evident, said the South Korea’s intelligence agency believes. Now, Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, is serving as No2, however, rumours regarding her potential promotion still remain suggestions only. In fact, the young gifted woman has not necessarily been designated brother’s successor.
Believed to be in her early 30s, Kim Yo Jong is the leader’s only close relative with a public role in politics, recently spearheading a new, tougher campaign to put pressure on South Korea.
South Korean opposition party lawmaker Ha Tae-keung told media on parliament’s intelligence committee that Kim Jong Un was helping to run the regime with mandated authority from her brother.
“The bottom line is that Kim Jong Un still holds absolute power, but has turned over a bit more of his authority compared to the past,” Ha said, following a closed-door briefing by the South’s National Intelligence Service.
Over the year, in North Korea, more power on the economic and military policy has also been delegated to several other senior officials. Although the moves have been done at a lower level, possibly to reduce strain on Kim Jong Un as well as help him avoid blame for any failures, the experts from Seoul suggest.
Kim Yo Jong, a rising star of North Korea’s politics
In April, when rumours and speculation arose about Kim’s health, his sister was seen a possible placeholder to take over the family dynasty until one of Kim’s children is old enough.
The critics of Kim Yo Jong-won stress that fame ahead of her brother’s 2019 Vietnam summit with Trump. That time, her efforts to ensure everything went well included holding an ashtray for the North Korean leader at a train station on his journey.
However, her prominence in the campaign against South Korea this year highlighted a substantive policy role that goes beyond being merely Kim’s assistant, analysts say.
As Reuters reported earlier, she issued her first public statements to spray criticism at the neighbouring nation, and the North’s state media portrayed her as playing a decision-making role.
In July, she offered personal views on diplomacy with the United States in an unusual statement in state media, saying her brother had given her special permission to watch recordings of that country’s Independence Day celebrations. That has resulted in some speculation about a possible demotion.