When the South Korean president, Moon Jae-in, known as for an finish to the struggle on the Korea peninsula lately, the preliminary response was a rebuff from North Korea’s vice international minister. This has been the usual response from Pyongyang every time the thought has been raised of turning the 1953 armistice between the 2 warring Koreas into an precise peace treaty.
So it was one thing of a shock when, the next day, a somewhat hotter message emerged from Kim Yo-jong, the sister of North Korea’s supreme chief, Kim Jong-un, who declared the thought “admirable”. She specified quite a few pre-conditions which might have to be met, although:
What must be dropped is the double-dealing attitudes, illogical prejudice, dangerous habits and hostile stand of justifying their very own acts whereas faulting our simply train of the correct to self-defence.
That is the type of message one would normally anticipate to return from Kim Jong-un himself, so it prompted a spherical of dialogue from the media’s Korea watchers as to how a lot weight the world can provide an announcement from his youthful sister.
Who’s Kim Yo-jong?
The supreme chief’s sister first got here to worldwide consideration in 2018, when she turned the primary member of North Korea’s Kim dynasty to go to South Korea in an official capability. She was a part of the nation’s delegation to the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, at which the 2 nations competed as one workforce. She held a gathering with President Moon and appeared in picture alternatives alongside US Vice President Mike Pence and the Japanese prime minister, Shinzo Abe. Footage of her dominated protection in North Korea.
Following what was reported as her diplomatic triumph on the Winter Olympics, her profile grew as she met with the Chinese language president, Xi Jinping, and was current in any respect three face-to-face conferences between her brother and US President Donald Trump.
Little is thought about Kim Yo-jong’s childhood, although – even her date of beginning is clouded in uncertainty. She is the youngest youngster of former supreme chief Kim Jong-il’s relationship with Ko Yong-hui, who was initially from Japan and thus would have been thought to be being from a decrease caste in Korea’s complicated “songbun” system if Kim Jong-il had not eliminated the official document about her origin. Kim Yo-jong is known to have attended the identical personal faculty together with her elder brother in Bern, Switzerland, after which she attended Kim Il-sung College in Pyongyang, the place she studied pc science.
By 2009, Kim Jong-il’s ill-health made the succession a matter of pressing debate and it turned more and more clear that Kim Jong-un was being groomed to take over the management on his demise. However at Kim Jong-il’s funeral, Kim Yo-jong was photographed alongside senior relations.
She has twice been elevated to the politburo, in 2017 to 2019 and 2020 to 2021. As well as, she can also be a pacesetter of the Propaganda and Agitation Division, through which capability she has boosted the cult of persona surrounding her brother in addition to making common statements about North Korean international relations.
She is believed to be married to Choe Tune, the youthful son of the Korean Staff’ Get together secretary, Choe Ryong Hae, which supplies her one other supply of political energy.
How a lot energy does Kim Yo-jong really wield? One incident from June 2020 exhibits the extent to which she will be able to train her will in North Korea. In retaliation for South Korean defectors’ use of balloons to drop propaganda leaflets into the North, she warned that she had ordered the division accountable for inter-Korean affairs to “decisively perform the following motion”, including that: “Earlier than lengthy, a tragic scene of the ineffective north-south joint liaison workplace fully collapsed can be seen.”
The next day the constructing was blown up, suggesting that when Kim Yo-jong orders one thing, it occurs.
One other fascinating episode can solid some gentle over energy relations between herself and her brother. In March 2020, Kim Yo-jong issued her first official assertion, lashing out at South Korea’s presidential workplace, the so-called Blue Home, which had known as on the North to halt its dwell fireplace workouts. She referred to the management as “a mere youngster” and “a burnt youngster dreading fireplace”.
Two days later Kim Jong-un despatched a message of condolence over the outbreak of COVID-19 within the South. This “underlined his unwavering friendship and belief towards President Moon and stated that he’ll proceed to quietly ship his finest needs for President Moon to beat”. The message had Korea watchers confused as as to whether the siblings have been at loggerheads over North-South relations or whether or not this was a show of “good cop-bad cop” diplomacy.
It is a household the place most of the potential male contenders for energy have been executed or assassinated – together with Kim Jong-nam, Kim Jong-un’s half brother who was murdered with the nerve agent VX at Kuala Lumpur airport in Malaysia in 2017; and his uncle, Jang Tune-thaek, who was reportedly executed by firing squad in 2013 after being accused of being a counter-revolutionary. So the standing of Kim Yo-jong’s relationship together with her brother is as scrutinised as Kim Jong-un’s bodily well being with regards to if – and when – she may be able to problem for final energy in North Korea.
In North Korea, evidently to realize the management it’s essential to seize the grip of the trinity energy of the army, celebration and folks. Each Kim Jong-il and Kim Jong-un turned main figures of the Nationwide Defence Fee (NDC) – the army – in addition to the celebration by the Korean Staff’ Get together (KWP). They’d each developed their cult of persona, giving them entry to the individuals.
Kim Yo-jong could have achieved identify recognition in her capability as a spokesperson on international relations and has entry to energy within the KWP. However she has not but been appointed to a place on the NDC. If that occurs any time quickly, it may be an indication that North Korea is making ready for its first girl chief.
Sojin Lim ne travaille pas, ne conseille pas, ne possède pas de components, ne reçoit pas de fonds d'une organisation qui pourrait tirer revenue de cet article, et n'a déclaré aucune autre affiliation que son organisme de recherche.