US, WASHINGTON (ORDO NEWS) — Kim Ye-jeong became the most important figure in the North Korean regime after her brother, country leader Kim Jong-un. This is manifested in the fact that she can afford to smoke along the way to the nuclear summit, and in the fact that she makes statements in which she praises the American president.
Representing Kim at the 2018 Winter Olympics in South Korea’s Pyeongchang, Kim Ye-jeong not only gained prestigious titles in the ruling labor party. Rumor has it that it is she who is behind the creation of a carefully verified public image of her brother, both domestically and abroad. In response, her brother completely trusts her. And this is the man who ordered the execution of his own uncle, accused of treason.
While the world is fighting the COVID-19 pandemic, and Pyongyang claims that there is not a single case of infection in the DPRK, Kim Ye-jeong continues his ascent.
Last month, she made her first public statement condemning the South, which “yells like a frightened dog.” This statement was made after Seoul protested against the military exercises with live firing, which conducted the North. And in March, she openly praised Donald Trump, who sent Kim a letter in which he expressed hope for maintaining good bilateral relations and offered help in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The publication of political statements under the name Kim Ye-jeong emphasizes that she plays a central role in the ruling regime. This was told by a researcher at the Institute of North Korean Studies at the University of Jensu Jensik Pong (Youngshik Bong). “It is significant that Kim Jong-un allowed her to write and make stinging statements about South Korea on her own behalf,” said Pong. “He’s clearly ready to let his sister become his alter ego.”
However, Kim Ye-jeong, who accompanied his brother in two meetings with Trump, was clearly hit after his nuclear diplomacy failed. A year ago, she was removed from the influential political bureau and told not to stick out after the failure of the Hanoi summit on denuclearization. She was reinstated in her position last week, as reported by the state-owned Korea Central News Agency.
Kim Ye-jeong did not ignore the American authorities, blacklisting her and some other North Korean officials in 2017 for “malicious human rights violations.”
In the international arena, Kim Ye-jeong is highly visible throughout the important negotiation process with Washington and Seoul. At home, she serves as the chief propagandist, polishing Kim’s reputation as the head of the dynasty that has ruled North Korea for three generations.
“She has direct access to Kim Jong-un and has a great influence on him,” says North Korean specialist Leonid Petrov, a senior lecturer at Sydney’s International College of Management. – She is not connected with his purges and with the dangerous policy of balancing on the brink of war, but she knows everything about it. She’s a trusted political figure helping Kim maintain a positive image when he negotiates with foreigners or with South Koreans. ”
Ye Jung is four years younger than brother. She was rarely seen in public until 2010, when she took part in a party conference. But the very next year, she regularly appeared in the retinue of her father Kim Jong Il, and at the end of 2011 the world saw her mourn him after death.
But her ascent to the top of the North Korean regime most likely began back in the late 1990s, when she was in elementary school in Swiss Bern. At that time, Kim Jong-un also studied in this country, with whom they lived together in a private house under the supervision of servants and bodyguards, as reported by the North Korea Leadership Watch blog.
“They were practically in exile together, knowing what the future holds for them,” said Jonsik Pon. – They probably have a colossal sense of common destiny. As a result, she enjoys the unconditional trust of her brother.”
Very little is known about the life of Ye Chung in the period after graduating from the University. Kim Il Sung, where she studied computer science, and 2007, when she began to play a minor role in the ruling party.
It is said that she was involved in the ascension of her brother to the post of supreme leader after Kim Jong Il suffered two strokes in 2008. But her name was not mentioned in the state media of North Korea until March 2014, when she accompanied her brother during the elections to the Supreme National Assembly.
“The North Korean regime is a family business, and Kim Jong-un seems to trust his sister,” said Ehwa Leif-Eric Easley, an associate professor of international studies at Seoul University. – She demonstrated her ability when she modernized the regime’s brand, and she enjoys a certain influence on state propaganda. Most likely, her most important function is to be the confidant of her brother. At the same time, it plays a signal role, because Kim Ye-jeong’s statements have more weight than any easily replaceable North Korean leader. ”
According to forecasts, the rise of Kim Ye-jeong will continue when the North resumes its nuclear diplomacy after the pandemic. “It plays a key role in North Korea’s domestic and foreign policy campaigns, because it’s more interested in the survival of the regime,” Petrov said.
However, he noted that Kim Ye-jeong would never wear the mantle of a leader if something happened to her brother. “Kim Ye-jeong knows how to smooth Kim Jong-un’s initiative and how to strengthen his soft power … but it will not replace the main decision maker. North Korea is a Confucian country where it respects seniority and masculinity. She is Kim’s most reliable ally, but nothing more. ”
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