KIM Yo-jong is Kim Jong-un’s younger sister, and is now seen as the “alter ego” of the North Korean dictator and thought to be the most important figure in the tyrannical regime after her brother.
Now, with her brother now ill, she has been tipped to take over the country should the Supreme Leader die.
Who is Kim Yo-jong?
Kim, 31, was born in September 1987, the daughter of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-il.
She is said to have had a close relationship with brother Kim Jong-un from an early age.
Both studied together in Switzerland between 1996 and 2000 with each depending on the other for company and support during those isolated years.
It is believed she went on to further her education at the Kim Il-sung Military University and then computer science at the Kim Il-sung university.
Kim is married to Choe Song, the son of top North Korean military official and politician Choe Ryong-hae, and has at least one child born in May 2015.
During the Winter Olympics, it was reported she was pregnant with her second child.
South Korean officials were told Kim was expecting a child during her three-day visit to the south, the Korea Herald has claimed.
Kim Yo-jong first gained prominence when she was pictured several times mourning her late father during his funeral in December 2011.
What is Kim Yo-jong’s job?
Her first job title given in a state news address was a “senior official” of the ruling Workers’ Party Central Committee.
She has filled in for her brother when he was sick and has played a high-level supporting role to him.
In November 2014, Yo-jong was named First Deputy Director of the Workers Party’s Propaganda and Agitation Department.
Her job is to pump out propaganda both venerating her brother and the North Korean state and discrediting enemies.
She was made a member of the politburo, the party’s most senior ruling committee, in 2017, giving her even greater power including over state security – although she removed for a year in 2019.
The Supreme Leader’s sister was the first of the Kim dynasty to set foot inSouth Korea since the Korean War ended in 1953 when she attended the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang.
Later that year, she attended the Singapore summit on June 11 between Donald Trump and the North Korean leader.
The dictator’s sister was spotted at the signing between the two leaders stepping up to swap a pen which had been provided to sign the agreement.
At the 2019 North Korean parliamentary elections, Kim Yo-jong was elected to the Supreme People’s Assembly as a representative for Killimgil.
In early April 2020, she was reinstated to the party’s powerful politburo according to the state Korean Central News Agency.
She has had a remarkable return to favour after falling out of grace with her brother following her removal from the role in 2019 and ordered to keep a low profile following the failure of the Hanoi denuclearisation summit.
She is now thought to be the mastermind behind Kim’s public image, both at home and abroad and is believed to have the full confidence of her brother Kim who is said to have had his own uncle executed for treason.
Attention has now focused on her after fears were sparked about her brother’s health after he failed to make an appearance for the ‘Day of the Sun’ celebrations on April 15.
Kim Jong-un is believed to be in a vegetative state following a botched heart operation, according to reports coming out of South Korea.
The claims come after Chinese medical experts were reportedly sent to treat the North Korean dictator. Speculation began about Reports from South Korean outlets suggested Kim underwent heart surgery on April 12 and was seriously ill.
It is suggested a procedure to insert a stent had gone wrong because the surgeon’s hands were shaking too much.
Last month Kim’s sister made her first public statement, condemning South Korea as a “frightened dog barking” after Seoul protested about the North’s recent live-fire military exercise.
She has also publicly praised US President Donald Trump for sending Kim Jong-un a letter in which he said he hoped to maintain good bilateral relations and offered help in dealing with the coronavirus pandemic.