Kim Yo Jong: Sister of North Korean leader promoted to nation’s top ruling body

The announcement — revealed in North Korea’s state-run information outlet KCNA — mentioned Kim Yo Jong is now a member of the State Affairs Fee (SAC), the nation’s ruling physique headed by her brother.
Kim Yo Jong was already one of many nation’s most important political figures and a key adviser to her brother, however a seat on the SAC is the best official place she has held.

Seven others had been promoted alongside her as a part of a shake-up of the SAC, although Kim Yo Jong was the one girl. 9 members had been retired or demoted, together with 82-year-old Pak Pong Ju, Kim Jong Un’s financial policymaker for the previous decade.

Ri Pyong Chol, the motive force of North Korea’s weapons program and prime navy commander beneath Kim Jong Un, was demoted. His place was taken by navy common Pak Jong Chon, who had been overseeing the event of latest weapons for the nation.
Earlier this week, Pak supervised a check of what the North claimed was its first hypersonic missile, which — if true — has the potential to be one of many world’s quickest and most correct weapons, and might be fitted with a nuclear warhead, consultants say.

Why is Kim Yo Jong’s promotion important?

Kim Yo Jong’s elevation to the nation’s core committee of resolution makers seems to formally cement her function in North Korea’s management.
She is believed to be one among her brother’s strongest and trusted confidantes. Final 12 months, South Korea’s Nationwide Intelligence Service assessed her to be the nation’s “de facto second in command” — however her official standing has at all times been unclear.
What Kim Yo Jong's rise to the top says -- and doesn't say -- about being a woman in North Korea
As North Korea’s chief propagandist, Kim Yo Jong was the face of the nation’s delegation on the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea the place she met with South Korean President Moon Jae-In. She was credited with serving to lay the groundwork for the first summit between Moon and her brother, for which she had a seat on the desk, and was at Kim Jong Un’s side in Singapore when he met then-US President Donald Trump.

In 2020, South Korea’s spy company instructed lawmakers she had been put in command of relations with the South and the US.

Extra not too long ago, as vice division director of the Central Committee of the Staff’ Occasion of Korea, she has made scathing public statements on inter-Korean relations, the brand new Biden administration, and defended North Korea’s missile launches.
Chaos in the Koreas sees Kim Jong Un's sister emerge stronger than ever

Final week, Kim Yo Jong demanded the South make “the proper selection” if it genuinely needs reconciliation and growth in inter-Korean relations, together with one other summit. She additionally warned the US and South Korea to cease their “hostile” coverage towards North Korea, earlier than discussions can resume on a proposal by the South Korean President to declare an finish to the battle between the North and South.

However Kim Yo Jong’s rise to the highest has not been easy.

Earlier this 12 months, she was eliminated as an alternate member from North Korea’s highly effective politburo and demoted from “first vice division director” to “vice division director.”

Analysts at the time said her apparent demotion could have extra to do with Kim Jong Un’s concentrate on reshuffling the politburo to incorporate extra financial consultants. Others speculated she could have taken the warmth for her dealing with of the inter-Korean relationship final summer season, when she directed North Korea’s armed forces to blow up an $8 million joint liaison office within the metropolis of Kaesong to precise Pyongyang’s displeasure with Seoul.

CNN’s Joshua Berlinger contributed reporting.

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