By Daniel O’Shea
This week Kim Jong-Un, Supreme Leader of North Korea, promoted some of his close political allies, most preeminent among them was the installment of a new Politburo member: his sister, Kim Yo-jong.
It is vitally important to understand this political reshuffling, as BBC describes it, because it directly alters the nature of North Korea’s domestic government which will eventually influence every aspect of the country itself.
To grasp the magnitude of Kim Jong-Un’s move, it is important to understand what the Politburo is and what position Kim Jo Yong is filling. The Democratic People’s Republic of Korea (DPRK) does have an organized governmental system. Officially speaking, their main decision-making body is called the Politburo which is headed by a five-person Central Committee whose leading member is Kim Jong-Un himself.
According to The Daily Mail, Kim Yong-Jo will now serve as an alternate member of the government’s Central Committee. She has taken on one of the most elite political positions in North Korea and is now one of the most influential women in the country.
Michael Madden, a North Korea expert at Johns Hopkins University, said “It shows that her portfolio and writ is far more substantive than previously believed and it is a further consolidation of the Kim family’s power,” reports the Daily Mail. Simply put, in her new role, she will have an influence on nearly every decision made by the country.
So, besides being the sister of the Supreme Leader of North Korea, who is Kim Yo-jong? According to Aljazeera and Express-News, this thirty-year-old woman studied in Switzerland with her brother, and has been a close confidant of the Supreme Leader since their childhood days. She has subsequently held many positions under her brother’s rule.
In 2014, she began serving as the vice-director of propaganda for the communist Worker’s Party, the all-powerful party of the DPRK under the Kim regime. She was responsible for creating and portraying a desired personality for both the Party and Kim Jong-Un himself while also organizing his public appearances.
She was eventually fired for not performing adequately, but since then has continued to serve as a political advisor to Kim Jong-Un. In January, she was blacklisted by the US Treasury due to “severe human rights abuses”.
Kim Yo-jong’s rise in power reveals that Kim Jong-Un continues to strengthen his control over North Korea by placing those who wholeheartedly support him in positions of power. Despite the international communities’ resistance, the Kim family’s iron grip over the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea is stronger than ever.
These recent promotions, especially that of Kim Yo-jong, combined with Kim Jong-Un’s latest announcement that nuclear weapons are an essential military deterrent and are imperative to North Korea’s safety, according to Daily News, only intensifies the international insecurity of the world today