Kim Jong-un's sister could be his potential successor: Who is Kim Yo-jong?

Kim Jong-un’s sister Kim Yo-jong might seem irrelevant in her current role yet one day she could be North Korea’s future leader.

Kim Yo-jong, the dictator's sister and North Korea's likely future leader, here is what we know
© Bloomberg / Contributeur
Kim Yo-jong, the dictator's sister and North Korea's likely future leader, here is what we know

Generally, life in North Korea but also the power relations inside the Kim dynasty are shrouded by mystery.

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For many years there have been speculations about the health condition of the North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un which has led analysts to believe that there might be succession plans which include his sister Kim Yo-jong.

Who is Kim Yo-jong?

Kim Yo-jong was born in 1987 and very little is known about her childhood other than the fact that she was raised in relative isolation with her brothers Kim Jong-chol and Kim Jong-un at a private compound in Pyongyang.

According to Britannica, It is believed that she finished her elementary school in a private institution in Bern, Switzerland in the 1990s before she returned back to North Korea in 2000.

In 2007, Kim Yo-jong graduated with a degree in Computer Science from Kim Il-Sung University in Pyongyang.

In the same year, Kim Yo-jong was named a member of the cadre of young leaders within the ruling Korean Workers Party (KPW).

In 2014, North Korean state media reported about the rise of Kim Yo-Jong into the position of the vice director of the KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department, the same year unofficially she became the head of that agency.

It is reported that Kim Yo-jong is among the closest allies of the ruler Kim Jong-un, she has been credited with crafting her brother's public persona and for managing his schedule.

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Growing importance

The Kim dynasty has ruled North Korea for decades and never before was a female figure part of the leadership.

Kim Yo-jong could be the exception to this rule especially given the speculations about the persisting doubts about Kim Jong-un’s health.

Kim Yo-jong is currently serving as a senior official in the state propaganda ministry and is believed to be among the most powerful persons in North Korea.

In 2020, in a report by The Guardian, Kim Yo-jong was described as her brother’s alter ego. The word describes someone who is almost like a twin to somebody else and can do everything in their place.

According to the North Korean Leadership Watch, Kim Yo-jong has the unconditional trust of Kim Jong-un.

They were virtually in exile together, both knowing what the future had in store for them. They must have gained a tremendous sense of having a common fate. As a result, she has her brother’s unconditional trust.

Now increasingly more her role in leadership seems to become more important. Just recently it became evident that North Korea is aligning itself with Russia in the Ukraine War.

Kim Yo-jongrecently was quoted blaming Washington for engaging in a ‘proxy war’ to destroy Moscow.

Read more: Kim Jong-un reveals his New Year wish list and it allegedly involves weapons

It remains to be seen what will the role of the dictator’s sister be in the near future.

This is especially given the fact that Kim Jong-un has made a number of public appearances lately accompanied by others from his inner circle which analysts have called a preparation for the outside world about his succession plans.

Sources used:

-Britannica: ‘Kim Yo-Jong North Korean political official’

-TheGuardian: ‘Kim Yo-jong: the sister of Kim Jong-un, fast 'becoming his alter ego'

Kim Jong-un’s wife and sister are allegedly feuding about who will be his successor Kim Jong-un’s wife and sister are allegedly feuding about who will be his successor