Kim Yo Jong, the younger sister of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, has been elected to the top decision-making body of the country’s ruling party, indicating that she is poised to become an increasingly senior figure.
Kim Yo Jong, 30, was elected as an alternate member of the Political Bureau of the Central Committee of the Workers’ Party of Korea (WPK). The decision was made in Pyongyang on Saturday during the 2nd plenum of the 7th central committee.
Kim Yo Jong was previously appointed as a vice director of a department within the central committee in November 2014. Her election to the ruling party’s top decision-making body suggests that she is an increasingly influential figure who is now in the center of power.
Little is known about Kim Yo Jong, who studied in Switzerland along with her brother in the late 1990s.
Just weeks before her appointment as a vice director in 2014, some news reports had claimed that Kim Yo Jong was in charge of the country’s day-to-day affairs during the absence of Kim Jong Un, who was out of the public eye for about 40 days due to unspecified health issues, causing him to miss a number of important national events.
At Saturday’s meeting, which came just days before the 72nd founding anniversary of the Workers’ Party of Korea, Kim Jong Un also addressed a gathering of senior party members and local officials, saying that the country’s nuclear weapons were a defense against nuclear threats from the United States.
“They are powerful deterrent firmly safeguarding the peace and security in the Korean peninsula and Northeast Asia and reliably guaranteeing the Korean nation’s sovereignty and rights to existence and development and a treasured sword of justice to remove the nuclear clouds of tyranny bringing a horrible disaster to mankind and make it possible for the people to lead an independent and happy life under the clear and blue sky,” Kim said.
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