Reports have confirmed that the sister of North Korea’s Kim Jong-un tied the knot last week with the son of a senior official of the Worker’s Party.
Kim Jong-un’s younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, has reportedly married the son of one of the most trusted officials in North Korea, Cho Ryong-Hae, confirmed New York Times Friday. Foreign analysts have interpreted the marriage as a sign that the role and influence of the strongman’s sister is getting immensely wider in the running of the secretive nation, with one expert saying that the sister’s influence might actually surpass the status of other senior officials due to the mere fact that she is a direct member of the Kim family.
This power trend is nothing new in North Korea. During Kim Jong-il’s reign, experts observed that the dictator relied heavily on his own sister on matters of the state.
State media announced the marriage and for the first time addressed Yo-jong in her official title; departmental vice director. North Korea expert Yang Moo-jin says the job title is roughly the equivalent to a vice Cabinet minister.
This is not the first time people have speculated on the sister’s actual roles in North Korea. During Kim Jong-un’s mysterious absence last year, The Inquisitr reported that the 27-year-old sister may have been running the country herself. The North Korea Leadership Watch blogger Michael Madden provided a brief biography that described Kim Yo-jong and her career in the North Korean government.
“Kim Yo Jong (Kim Yo’-cho’ng) is a Korean Workers’ Party [KWP] official and the youngest daughter of the DPRK’s late supreme leader Kim Jong Il. She works as an aide to older brother, current supreme leader Kim Jong Un, tasked with managing his public events, itineraries and logistical needs. Her external-use title is deputy (vice) director of the KWP Propaganda and Agitation Department.”
Madden wrote that Yo-jong and her older brother attended a private school in Bern, Switzerland under false names during their youth. It is not clear whether Yo-jong actually finished any formal collegiate education. Madden also writes that the sister’s whereabouts before 2008 remains a mystery.
Her support as a sister and as a top official in the North Korean Worker’s Party has been observed since Jong-un assumed power in 2012. Yo-jong is also rumored to succeed her aunt, Kim Jong-il’s sister Kim Kyong-Hui, as the secretary of the Worker’s Party of Korea.
[Image from nkleadershipwatch/Rodong Sinmun]