Written by Shreya Panda, a grade 11 student.
Recently last week, Ms. Kim suggested the demolition of a Joint Liaison Office between South and North Korea. Three days later, the office was reduced to rubble.
This shows the magnanimity of power that this 32-year-old woman has in her hands.
Who is Kim Yo Jong?
Kim Yo-Jong is the younger sister of the Supreme Leader of North Korea- Kim Jong Un.
She is one of her brother’s most trusted advisors, and the most powerful person in the isolated regime after her brother (which is quite ironic considering her gender and the extremely patriarchal basis of society in the country).
Born in 1988, Kim Yo-Jong and her brother were educated in Switzerland. However, her existence was barely known to the wider world until the funeral of their father, where she stood right behind Kim Jong-Un.
Ms. Kim first gained international attention in 2018 when she was the first member of the Kim family to visit South Korea since the Korean War of 1950. This was during the Winter Olympics taking place in South Korea where she was scrutinised greatly- from the clothes she wore to the bag she was carrying,and even her handwriting.
The People’s Republic of Korea- which is far from its label of being “democratic”- has never had a female leader. However, speculation swirled over Yo-Jong being a potential successor when the Supreme Leader was absent from public view for a few weeks earlier this year. The North Korean regime is a family business and Kim Jong Un appears to place trust in his sister.
What is her role in the political propaganda in North Korea?
Yo-Jong’s main role has been to protect her brother’s image, and she has thus taken up a key role in the party’s propaganda department. She is also said to have managed all his public appearances and is Kim Jong Un’s political advisor.
How was the Joint Liaison Office explosion significant?
The significance of blowing up of the Liaison Office is massive as this represented breaking the bilateral North and South Korea relations. The explosion of the office, which was the central point of inter-Korean relations, and a symbol of peace and cooperation, is being seen as the end of any diplomatic dialogue between the two nations.
Earlier this year, in the month of March, media carried the first-ever statement by Kim, where she criticized the South Korean authorities. This was followed by several other strongly-worded sentences including a response to the comments of the US President Donald Trump.
During the absence of her brother from public sight, Yo Jong was often painted as a caricature of a generous person who might come as a relief to the massive dictatorship. It’s as if she is the world’s new benevolent dictator, just by the sheer force of her gender.
However, experts have surmised that Yo Jong might just be an even tougher, more brutal ruler than her dictator brother.
The question is that will Kim Jong Un’s sister become the first-ever woman to rule the deeply male-dominated region of North Korea? Blowing up a symbol of peace surely seems like a staggering way to make an entrance in the world of politics after all.
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