North Korean leader’s sister is ‘de facto second-in-command’, South Korean lawmaker says – Times of India

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SEOUL: South Korea’s intelligence company believes that Kim Yo Jong, the sister of North Korean chief Kim Jong Un, is serving as his “de facto second-in-command” however has not essentially been designated his successor, a South Korean lawmaker mentioned on Thursday.
Believed to be in her early 30s, Kim Yo Jong is the chief’s solely shut relative with a public function in politics, lately spearheading a brand new, harder marketing campaign to place stress on South Korea.
Ha Tae-keung, an opposition celebration lawmaker on parliament’s intelligence committee, advised reporters that Kim was serving to to run the regime with mandated authority from her brother.
“The underside line is that Kim Jong Un nonetheless holds absolute energy, however has turned over a bit extra of his authority in comparison with the previous,” Ha mentioned, following a closed-door briefing by the South’s Nationwide Intelligence Service.
“Kim Yo Jong is a de facto second-in-command,” Ha added in a transcript of remarks seen by Reuters.
Extra authority on financial and navy coverage has additionally been delegated to a number of different senior officers, though at a decrease stage, probably to scale back pressure on Kim Jong Un in addition to assist him keep away from blame for any failures, Ha mentioned.
Kim Yo Jong gained fame forward of her brother’s 2019 summit with US President Donald Trump in Vietnam, when her efforts to make sure every part went effectively included holding an ashtray for the North Korean chief at a prepare station on his journey.
Her prominence within the marketing campaign in opposition to South Korea this 12 months highlighted a substantive coverage function that goes past being merely Kim’s assistant, analysts say.
She issued her first public statements to spray criticism on the neighbouring nation, and the North’s state media portrayed her as taking part in a decision-making function.
In July, she supplied private views on diplomacy with the US in an uncommon assertion in state media, saying her brother had given her particular permission to look at recordings of that nation’s Independence Day celebrations.
When rumours and hypothesis arose in April about Kim Jong Un’s well being, his sister was seen a attainable placeholder to take over the household dynasty till one among Kim’s kids is sufficiently old.
Kim Yo Jong has been absent, nonetheless, from a number of current high-level conferences, resembling a plenary gathering of the ruling Staff’ Get together on Wednesday, mentioned NK Information, a Seoul-based web site that tracks North Korea.
That has stirred some hypothesis a few attainable demotion.

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