North Korea holds military parade for key political anniversary

N. Korea holds military parade for key political anniv.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (R, front) and Liu Yunshan (L, front), the Chinese Communist Party’s fifth-ranked leader, wave to the crowd after a large-scale military parade at Pyongyang’s Kim Il-sung Square on Oct. 10, 2015, to mark the 70th anniversary of the founding of the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, in this image captured from the North’s Korean Central TV Broadcasting Station. Also seen is Kim Yo-jong (in the red circle), the younger sister of the North’s leader. (Yonhap) (END)

Yonhap News Agency

Kim Jong-un accompanied by his sister

Kim Jong-un accompanied by his sister

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un (2nd from R, circle), along with his sister Kim Yo-jong (2nd from L, circle), poses for a photo with construction soldiers during a visit to a newly constructed nursery and orphanage in Wonsan on the North’s east coast, in this photo released on June 3, 2015, by the North’s state-run Rodong Sinmun newspaper. The paper, published by the ruling Workers’ Party of Korea, did not report when Kim made the visit. Kim Yo-jung appears to be accompanying the North’s leader on field guidances since May 29, when she made her first public appearance in 47 days amid rumors she gave birth. (Yonhap) (END)

 

Source: Yonhap News

 

Kim Yo-jong re-appears after 50 days amid childbirth

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un’s younger sister, who was believed to be pregnant, made her first public appearance in about 50 days, the North’s media reported Friday, cementing speculation that she might have given birth in May.

Kim Yo-jong, 28, accompanied the young leader on his field guidance to a tree nursery, which is being constructed by the Korean People’s Army (KPA), according to the North’s Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

In April, South Korea’s spy agency said that Kim would likely give birth in May, adding that her husband may be an alumnus of her alma mater, Kim Il-sung University. The agency did not provide more details.

Kim Yo-jong made her last public appearance April 12 when she accompanied the current leader on his inspection to the construction site of a second airport terminal in Pyongyang.

Experts said that her absence seemed to back up speculation that she has recently given birth.

In November last year, North Korea unveiled her official title: deputy director of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea.

Both the current leader and his sister were born to Ko Yong-hui, known as the fourth wife of late leader Kim Jong-il. (Yonhap)

The Korea Herald

Korea DPR unveils title of leader’s younger sister

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North Korea unveiled Thursday the official title of leader Kim Jong-un’s younger sister who’s been in the spotlight, calling her a deputy director of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party of Korea.

The confirmation of Kim Yo-jong’s formal position came amid growing speculation over her political role and stature in the communist regime.

She was among Kim’s entourage when he visited a cartoon film studio in Pyongyang, reported the Korean Central News Agency (KCNA).

Those who accompanied him included “vice department directors Kim Yo-jong and Kim Ui-sun of the Workers’ Party of Korea Central Committee,” it said.
Both Kim Jong-un, reportedly 31, and Kim Yo-jong, 27, were born to Ko Yong-hui, known as the fourth wife of late leader Kim Jong-il.

They lived in Pyongyang together and went to the same boarding school in Switzerland.

As the only younger sister of the current leader, she was often seen accompanying him in public activities.

She is apparently groomed to play a key supporting role for her brother in the absence of their once-powerful aunt Kim Kyong-hui, whose husband, Jang Song-thaek, was executed late last year, according to some observers.
Kim Yo-jong now holds the vice ministerial post, but her actual
political status looks to be much higher, they said.

The South Korean government believes she is working in the propaganda department of the party, an informed source said.

A unification ministry official also noted that her father, Kim Jong-il, served in the department when he was being groomed to become the nation’s leader himself.

The official refused to answer a question about whether the government views Kim as a substitute for Kim Kyong-hui.

Chang Yong-seok, senior researcher at a Seoul National University institute, said Kim Yo-jung seems to be more influential than Kim Kyong-hui was.
“Kim Yo-jong is playing a substantive role in creating Kim Jong-un’s image as a people-oriented leader, standing at the core of his efforts to solidify his power base,” he said.

Kim Jong-un, meanwhile, affirmed his affection for animation.

Touring the Korean April 26 Cartoon Film Studio, he said his visit is intended to “bring about a fresh turn in animation and, through it, put the film making in full progress,” the KCNA said.

He was quoted as adding that animation films “play an important role” in educating people and promoting their revolutionary spirit.

In 2012, Mickey Mouse and other Disney characters performed on stage in a Pyongyang concert for Kim. (Yonhap)

 

Source : The Korea Herald

Korea DPR leader’s sister granted official post

North Korea revealed the job title of Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of its leader Kim Jong-un, on Thursday, calling her a deputy director of the Central Committee of the ruling Workers’ Party, a post equivalent to vice minister.

The North’s official Korean Central News Agency mentioned her specific title for the first time, while reporting that she had accompanied her brother on a visit to an animation film studio in Pyongyang.

Her title indicates that she has become part of the nucleus of the communist state’s power structure, and that she plays a central role in supporting her brother’s management of state affairs, observers said.

North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, accompanied by his sister Kim Yo-jong (in a circle behind the leader), visits an anti-U.S. museum in South Hwanghae Province, the Rodong Sinmun, the daily of the North’s ruling Workers’ Party, reported on Tuesday. (Yonhap)

The KCNA did not specify which department of the party she belongs to.

Also accompanying the dynastic ruler at the film studio were several senior officials in charge of the party’s propaganda activities such as party secretary Kim Ki-nam ― a reason why analysts presume that Yo-jong may be a deputy director of the propaganda department.

But Cheong Seong-chang, a North Korea expert at the think tank Sejong Institute, said that Yo-jong could also be a deputy director of the party’s organizational guidance department given that she used to appear in public alongside some senior officials of that department.

Kim Yo-jong, thought to have been born between 1987 and 1989, is the youngest daughter of late strongman Kim Jong-il and was born to Ko Yong-hui, his third wife and the mother of the current third-generation ruler. Yo-jong and her brother went to the same school in Switzerland in the late 1990s.

In March, the North Korean media first mentioned her name alongside other top elites such as Hwang Pyong-so, the director of the North Korean military’s General Political Bureau. Observers have long speculated that she might have taken a vice minister post.

As Yo-jong is Jong-un’s only sister and shares the leader’s dynastic pedigree, keen attention has been paid to what role she would play to support her brother. As the health of Kim Kyong-hui, the leader’s only aunt, is failing, Kim Yo-jong’s political role is expected to increase, analysts said.

Speculation has persisted that the North Korean ruler may be grooming his sister to take a supporting role in place of Kim Kyong-hui, who took up a deputy director position at age 30 in 1976 and later became a four-star general and party secretary.

Amid a flurry of rumors about her health, Kim Kyong-hui has been removed from the public eye for about a year. Some say she has already died of a terminal disease, while others say that she has been in a vegetative state. She is thought to have suffered from various illnesses including depression, cancer, dementia and heart disease.

As for the marital status of Kim Yo-jong, the U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia raised speculation last month that she might have married a senior official of Room 39, an agency that maintains the dictatorial ruler’s foreign currency slush funds.

By Song Sang-ho (sshluck@heraldcorp.com)

 

Source : The Korea Herald

Kim Jong-un sister rumored to be married

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The U.S.-funded Radio Free Asia raised speculation Tuesday that Kim Yo-jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong-un, may have married a senior official of Room 39, an agency that maintains the dictatorial ruler’s foreign currency slush funds.

The RFA cited a Korean-Chinese businessman, who recently traveled to Pyongyang, as saying that a senior official of a trade company associated with Room 39 told him that Kim Yo-jong had got married. He said Kim’s husband was rumored to be working at Room 39.

“There is nothing unusual to expect Kim to have gotten married as she has reached the optimal age for marriage. (People) are wondering about who her husband is, as he could emerge as another powerful figure in the North’s top echelons,” the businessman was cited as saying.

South Korean intelligence officials told media that nothing had been confirmed.

Kim Yo-jong, believed to be in her mid- or late 20s, emerged at the center of the North’s political circles earlier this year.

In March, the North Korean media first mentioned her name alongside other top elites such as Hwang Pyong-so, the director of the North Korean military’s General Political Bureau. Observers say she might have taken a vice minister post in the communist state.

Kim Jong-un and Yo-jong, born to the same mother Ko Yong-hui, spent their school years together in Switzerland. As Yo-jong is the only sister sharing the leader’s dynastic pedigree, keen attention has been paid to what role she would play to support her brother.

Particularly at a time when the health of Kim Kyong-hui, the leader’s only aunt, is failing, Kim Yo-jong’s political role is expected to increase to back the ruler’s management of state affairs, analysts said.

A flurry of speculations has persisted surrounding the ailing aunt. Some say she has already died of a terminal disease, while others say that she has been in a vegetative state. She is rumored to have suffered from various illnesses including depression, cancer, dementia and heart disease.

Should it be confirmed that Kim Yo-jong is married, her relationship would be at the center of the ruler’s inner circles just as Kim Kyong-hui and her late husband Jang Song-thaek did when the late leader Kim Jong-il was in power.

Although Jang was executed last year for attempting to overthrow the regime, he had played a core role in proping up the Kim dynasty. After Jang tied the knot with the late national leader Kim Il-sung’s daughter in the early 1970s, he gained enormous power in the ruling party, state and even the military. He was dubbed the country’s No. 2 man.

By Song Sang-ho (sshluck@heraldcorp.com)

 

Source : The Korea Herald