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Cast your mind back a few months, and you’ll remember that the Internet was awash with
rumours that North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un had finally died.
It took weeks for any official confirmation that he was alive to surface, and Kim Jong-Un’s
three-week absence was rife with reports that his younger sister, Kim Yo-Jong, might take
his place as North Korea’s Supreme Leader.
Kim Jong-Un has been a famously brutal ruler in a country with a history of eccentric dictators
– so the real question is whether his sister would change things for the better, continue
business as usual, or begin her own horrific reign that’d make her brother and father
look like Gandhi in comparison.
You might be surprised by the answer.
Back in April, Yo-Jong was the talk of the international stage as all eyes moved to North
Korea and its possible shift in power.
She’d also been spotted at political summits, and even sitting next to US Vice President
Mike Pence at the South Korean Olympics.
The Hermit Kingdom is famously reserved with the information it releases to outsiders – with
goofy titbits like Kim Jong-Il’s allegedly perfect bowling game and Kim Jong-Un’s alleged
ability to drive a car at age three being largely unintentional exports.
Nobody really knew what to think of the mysterious Kim Yo-Jong.
Some, bizarrely, congratulated her for the possibility of breaking the glass ceiling
of North Korea’s Supreme Leadership.
Twitter was flooded with jokes and memes complimenting Yo-Jong’s physical appearance, or imagining
potential interactions between her and US President Donald Trump.
Others were less optimistic, and worried that the shards of Yo-Jong’s glass ceiling would
rain down on the North Korean people below, to deadly results.
There’s been long-running speculation among foreign policy experts that Kim Yo-Jong is
the brains of the Kim Jong-Un dictatorship, but like any true Machiavellian manipulator,
she prefers to remain in the shadows while her boisterous brother acts as the face of
the regime.
Seeing as she’s shrouded in secrecy, and is unlikely to give any interviews or release
a tell-all memoir any time soon, the best indication we have for Yo-Jong’s character
as a potential ruler is her time serving her brother’s brutal regime.
Kim Jong-Un has been in power in North Korea for nine years, assuming the role of the country’s
supreme leader following the death of his father Kim Jong-Il.
Under his rule as dictator, citizens of the DPRK have a number of their rights severely
restricted.
For example, the media and access to the internet are controlled and limited by Kim’s regime.
Anyone found to be openly critical of the regime is arrested, and can expect a long
stay in one of the country’s many forced labour camps - reserved for not only political
prisoners, but their families, too.
Unless you tow the party line in all things, you can kiss your freedom – and probably
your life – goodbye.
Information coming out of North Korea, even details regarding the personal lives of Kim
Jong-Un’s family, are often altered and falsified, so it’s hard to sum up everything
we know about Kim Yo-Jong with 100% accuracy.
What we do know, however, is that she was born in either 1987 or 1989, depending on
the report.
She’s the youngest of Kim Jong-il’s children, lived a relatively sheltered childhood, and
has a degree in Computer Science from Kim Il-Sung University, though prior to this she
was schooled in Switzerland with her brother.
According to a number of reports, she maintains a very close relationship with Jong-Un.
Maybe they even plot ways to murder and torture their citizens together.
While her father held the title of supreme leader, Kim Yo-Jong served as one of a group
of his advisors from 2009 – earning her nicknames like “The Ivanka Trump of North
Korea” – but Kim Yo-Jong only really had her presence noticed after she participated
in the third conference of the Workers’ Party of Korea - or WPK – in 2010, and then
attended her father’s funeral in the following year, alongside her brother.
So, what position does Kim Yo-Jong currently hold within the WPK?
Since 2014, she’s been the First Deputy Director of the party’s Propaganda and Agitation
Department.
As the name suggests, this is the department in charge of distributing propaganda to the
people of North Korea.
Remember earlier when we mentioned that Kim Jong-Un’s regime controls the country’s
media?
Well, that’s thanks in part to the work the Propaganda and Agitation Department does
under the leadership of his sister, who currently runs the PAD as its de facto leader.
But how exactly do they control the media?
Well, say you were a North Korean print journalist, writing for a national newspaper.
Every newspaper printed in North Korea goes through three rounds of censorship.
First, the paper’s editor will have to go through and remove anything that could potentially
be read as speaking out against the WPK or Kim Jong-Un, and then the PAD carries out
two additional checks for any anti-WPK material; and you’d better hope they don’t find
anything in there that could land you and your family in a labour camp.
As well as filtering out any information that the WPK doesn’t want the North Korean public
to know, the PAD is also in charge of translating works from other countries and keeping these
secret and censored from the public.
They also create all the guidelines for the propaganda distributed in North Korea, so
you have the comfort of knowing that any posters, artwork or music praising the WPK has been
approved by Kim Yo-Jong herself.
Her high-ranking role in the Propaganda and Agitation Department isn’t the only feather
in Kim Yo-Jong’s cap, however.
In October of 2017, Kim Yo-Jong became the second woman ever to be appointed to the Politburo.
What’s the Politburo?
Its full title is the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party
of Korea, and it is the highest authority in decision-making in the entirety of North
Korea, as well as a real mouthful to say out loud.
Comprising important state and military leaders, the Politburo is in charge of overseeing the
day-to-day running of the WPK.
It’s Kim Jong-Un’s inner sanctum, his Jedi Council, his most trusted politicians
and generals, elected by the Central Committee.
They’re not only the highest authority within the Workers’ Party of Korea, but also have
absolute ruling power over the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, and their decisions
become automatically enforced by law.
In 2017, it was speculated that Yo-Jong’s appointment to the Politburo was an indication
that her brother wanted her to replace the first woman to previously hold a position
within the bureau, that being their aunt, Kim Kyong-hui.
While their aunt and Kim Yo-Jong were rumoured to have had a good relationship, it’s been
hinted that Kim Kyong-hui wasn’t playing an active role in the WPK’s regime, and
this is a likely reason Kim Jong-Un may have wanted his sister to replace her.
Yo-Jong, after all, had made a reputation for herself as someone whom he could trust
to act with his regime’s best interests in mind, given her role within the Propaganda
and Agitation Department.
However, like many official appointments within North Korea, Kim’s involvement in the Politburo
was not exempt from a state of perpetual fluctuation within the ranks of the WPK.
In April of 2019, Kim Yo-Jong was removed from the Politburo, only to be reinstated
a year later in April 2020; around the same time that rumours of Kim Jong-Un’s death
began circulating online.
From this, it’s easy to infer that Yo-Jong knows her way around the art of political
manoeuvring, and is actively pursuing power in the event of her brother’s untimely death.
In spite of this, there appears to be a real bond of trust between Yo-Jong and her brother
– making her seem like the shrewd and manipulative Cersei Lannister to his violent and unpredictable
Joffrey.
Given the numerous high-profile and high-power positions Kim Jong-Un has bestowed upon her,
it’s a safe assumption that he trusts her and her dedication to the regime of the Workers’
Party of Korea.
That certainly ranks her higher in Kim Jong-Un’s treatment than their other siblings, especially
their eldest brother, Kim Jong Nam.
After being prevented from becoming his father’s successor in favour of Kim Jong-Un, Kim Jong
Nam was then assassinated in Malaysia in 2017.
He had been openly-critical of his brother's regime and that earned him an assassination
by his own brother.
But you’d never believe how it played out.
While Kim Jong Nam was waiting to catch a flight at Kuala Lumpur International Airport,
two women approached him claiming to be filming a prank tv show.
They sprayed him in the face with a deadly nerve agent, and in minutes Nam was dead.
It was never entirely clear if the women were groomed assassins or unwitting pawns who had
no idea what they were actually doing.
Given Kim Jong-Un’s penchant for having his siblings assassinated, Kim Yo-Jong has
done well to not only serve her brother’s regime, but also garner enough of his trust
to be granted multiple positions of power within the WPK, allowing her to work her way
up the party’s ranks – despite North Korea having an extremely masculine and chauvinist
culture.
It’s clear that she doesn’t share the anti-regime sentiments of her brother Kim
Jong Nam, and that seems to have served her well and put her in the supreme leader’s
favour, with her growing influence within the North Korean government leading many to
believe that she’ll one day succeed him..
Of course, “many” definitely doesn’t mean “everyone.”
A North Korea specialist named Leonid Petrov claimed Kim Yo-Jong couldn’t possibly replace
her brother as the country’s primary decision-maker.
He told The Guardian that “North Korea is a Confucian country where seniority and masculinity
are respected.
She is Kim's most trusted ally, but no more than that.”
On the other side of the argument, there are those who believe Kim Yo-Jong is certain to
succeed her brother to the position of supreme leader, Washington Post journalist Anna Fifield
claimed that Kim Yo-Jong is the “only Kim family member who could even possibly take
over the reins from Kim Jong Un” in a tweet made around the time rumours of the supreme
leader’s death were widespread.
There’s some merit to this, as the only other sibling among Kim Jong-Il’s infamous
progeny is Kim Jong Chul – who, according to most reports, has no interest on ruling
the country, and prefers to instead devote his time to learning guitar and obsessing
over Eric Clapton.
Yeah, and you thought your family was weird!
Given how quickly Kim Yo-Jong has climbed the WPK’s ranks, taking on more responsibility
and control within the party, spreading her influence and her public profile in recent
years, it seems entirely plausible that she could succeed her brother in the event of
his death.
How she would rule over North Korea is something on which we could only speculate.
Currently, it’s hard to imagine anything worse than life under the oppressive regime
of Kim Jong-Un and the WPK and – seeing as she’s proved herself a dedicated enough
member of the party to join the Politburo – it seems highly likely that Kim Yo-Jong
would at least continue to rule North Korea in her brother’s image.
For more info on North Korea, be sure to check out some of our other videos like “What
It Is Really Like Living in North Korea?” and “A Day in the Life of North Korean Dictator
Kim Jong Un”.
Thank you all for watching!
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Kim Jong-Un Sister, Why You Should Be More Scared of Her (North Korea Leadership)

24 分類 收藏
Summer 發佈於 2020 年 8 月 2 日
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