August 3, 2021

Kim Yo-jong, sister of Kim Jong-un and aggressive “communicator” of North Korea

By Philippe Pons and Harold Thibault

Posted today at 02:48

The United States would do well not to “Give off a smell of powder”, if they want to avoid “A response to lose sleep”. So says Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. The threats, issued on March 16, were intended to set the tone for the new US administration as Secretary of State Antony Blinken made his first visit to Asia. And it is no coincidence that they came from this thirty-something with a thin face and a scathing verb.

After having remained in the shadows for a long time, she now appears as the chief “communicator” of this communist regime. It has even taken on such importance that its remarks against the United States, and even more against South Korea – whose leaders are treated as “Bunch of idiots” – are peeled abroad to try to detect the orientations of the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK). On the eve of a probable new standoff with the United States of Joe Biden, analysts see in his media activity an innovation of the regime on the propaganda front.

The rise of this young woman was made slowly, and always behind her brother. In December 2011, during the funeral of their father, Kim Jong-il, she was still only a frail and effaced figure in the photo of the family clan. His first real public appearance comes seven months later, for the inauguration of Rungra Amusement Park in Pyongyang. In 2014, we find her alongside her brother during the vote for the renewal of the members of the Supreme People’s Assembly.

Kim Yo-jong, sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, during a ceremony at the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi (Vietnam), March 2, 2019.

Referred to by the official media as “Comrade Kim Yo-jong” or “First Deputy Director of a Party Department”, she appears more and more frequently. Its role: to monitor protocol behind the scenes, in particular in diplomatic matters.

Read also North Korea rejects any dialogue with the United States and its “hostile policy”

Her real outing in full light was on February 9, 2018. On that day, she represented her brother at the opening ceremony of the Olympic Winter Games in Pyeongchang, South Korea. It is the first time since the war (1950-1953) that a direct descendant of the “lineage of Mount Paektu”, sacred mountain of Korea and the center of the anti-Japanese guerrillas led by her grandfather, Kim Il- sung, thus goes to the South.

In the grandstand, she sits, all smiles, next to the rigid US Vice President Mike Pence, defensive and unwilling to break the ice. “I didn’t avoid the dictator’s sister, but I ignored her. I thought it was inappropriate for the United States to pay him the slightest attention ”, will be justified later this ultra-conservative.

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