Kim Yo Jong, the youngest sister of the North Korean leader who holds a key high-level post in the secretive party hierarchy, has reportedly married a son of one of the country’s most powerful officials, South Korea’s Yonhap news agency says, quoting unnamed Chinese sources.
North Korea’s state media reported last year that Kim Jong Un’s sister, who is reportedly in her late 20s, had assumed a senior position in the ruling Workers’ Party.
“As far as I know, Kim Yo Jong, deputy director of the Workers’ Party, got married to a son of the party secretary Choe Ryong Hae,” the South Korean news agency quoted a China-based source as saying.
The Associated Press notes that: “Kim Yo Jong was seen wearing what appears to be a wedding ring in a photo released by the reclusive North’s official KCNA news agency on Friday.”
According to the blog North Korea Leadership Watch: “Since her brother’s accession to the supreme leadership of the DPRK [North Korea], Kim Yo Jong has been routinely observed attending Kim Jong Un’s public appearances. She presently works in KJU’s executive office where she manages his public appearances–including his itineraries, schedule, logistical needs and security arrangements. Kim Yo Jong has ties to the Guard Command and Ministry of State Security. On 9 March 2014 she was mentioned in a DPRK state media report when she voted in SPA elections. This was the first observed explicit mention of Kim Yo Jong as a senior DPRK official.”
As Time notes: “Her presence at Kim Jong Un’s side is rich with symbolism. Her first official public appearance, in March 2014, came not long after the disappearance of her aunt Kim Kyong Hui, who has not been seen since her husband Jang Sung Thaek was executed in late 2013. Before the purge, Kim Kyong Hui was a close adviser to Kim Jong Il, holding key jobs in the ruling party and “protecting her brother’s flank,” according to Ken Gause, a Korea expert at CNA Corp., a Washington, D.C.–based research firm. Kim Il Sung, the country’s revered founding father, also ruled with a sibling — his brother — at his side (until he demoted him).”