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Kim Yo-jong Takes Role of Bad Cop With Seoul as She's Now Reportedly in Charge of Inter-Korean Ties

© AP Photo / Loung Thai LinhNorth Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister Kim Yo Jong holds a bouquet of flowers during a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace, Friday, March 1, 2019, in Hanoi, Vietnam
North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's sister Kim Yo Jong holds a bouquet of flowers during a welcoming ceremony at the Presidential Palace, Friday, March 1, 2019, in Hanoi, Vietnam - Sputnik International
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Kim Yo-jong was thrown into the media spotlight two months ago after Kim Jong-un’s long absence in the public prompted rumours that he was gravely ill and had even died or that he had been deposed in a coup, with his sister Ms Kim, who is believed to be next in line to run the country, assuming power.

Kim Jong-un’s sister, Kim Yo-jong, is now allegedly in charge of inter-Korean matters, reported The Chosun Ilbo, South Korea’s leading newspaper, citing sources within the country's government. According to the newspaper, Kim Jong-un has personally assigned his sister to a role that was previously performed by a committee of North Korea’s governing party in order to modernise the government.

One indication that the woman, said to be in her mid-thirties, is now in control of Pyongyang’s relations with its southern neighbour is the fact that a spokesperson for the United Front Department, a commission tasked with relations with South Korea, recently "parroted" a warning she made earlier, wrote The Chosun Ilbo.

The warning in question was Kim Yo-jong’s remark about South Korean activists sending propaganda leaflets across the border to North Korea with the help of balloons. Ms Kim threatened to close the Inter-Korean Liaison Office that functions as a de-facto embassy in the absence of diplomatic relations and a communication channel between the two states, if authorities Seoul fails to stop activists from sending leaflets into the DPRK.

An anonymous government source told The Chosun Ilbo that Kim Yo-jong’s statements are being treated as "a directive from the leader". The newspaper stressed that more and more North Korean agencies are quoting Kim Yo-jong’s remarks on South Korea.

According to The Chosun Ilbo, Kim Jong-un’s sister has assumed the role of a bad cop in relations with South Korea. The newspaper cites as an example when the North Korean leader sent a letter of condolence to South Korean President Moon Jae-in only a day after his sister Kim Yo-jong heavily criticised Seoul.

In this photo released by  thePress office of the administration of Primorsky Krai region, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, center left, surrounded by Russian and North Korea's officials walks,  after arriving in Vladivostok, Russia, Wednesday, April 24, 2019 - Sputnik International
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Kim Yo-jong was thrown into the media spotlight two months ago after Kim Jong-un’s weeks-long absence from the public eye. After he failed to appear at the celebrations of the birth anniversary of his grandfather Kim Il-sung, the most important holiday in North Korea, media started speculating that he was gravely ill and had even died or that he had been deposed in a coup, with Ms Kim, who is believed to be next in line to run the country, assuming power.

 

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