A high-level North Korean delegation including leader Kim Jong Un’s sister has arrived at a train station in Pyeongchang hours ahead of the opening ceremony of the Winter Olympics.
Kim Yo-jong on Friday became officialy the first member of her family to visit South Korea since the 1950-53 Korean War. However it’s known that Kim Yong-ju, the younger brother of Kim Il-sung used to visit South Korean in the 70’s. Jang Sung-thaek, the husband of the aunt of Kim Jong-un was also several times in South Korea. Kim Yong-nam, the North Korean official head of state, who is accompaying Kim Yo-jong, is also a far member of the Kim family.
Kim Yo-jong (김요정) is the younger sister of Kim Jong-un. She was born on September 26, 1987. Kim Jong-il (1941-2011), her father used to call her Kim Il-sun ([김일순], where [일] means first and [순] unique. Her mother was Ko yong-hui (고영희-1952-2004). She has one brother: Kim Jong-chol (born in 1981)
Kim Yo-jong circled in green
As other children of Kim jong-il, she was educated in Europe (Switzerland and France). Later she came back to the Kim Il Sung University, where she followed a similar education track to her brothers and sisters. She also studied at the faculty of computer science at this university. Kim Yo-jong had also an individual political education consisting of theoretical lectures and practical ones (under the supervision of several politicians such as Hwang Pyong-so). She used to work in different departments of the WPK (a “management programme”, where she rotated between departments) in order to understand the structures of the WPK. In 2012, she became a director at the National Defence Commission. Kim Yo-jong was promoted to the Central Committee of the WPK in April 2014. In May 2016 Kim Yo-jong, was also given a seat in the Politburo.
Kim Yo-jong at her arrival to South Korea
Regarding her private life, It’s said that she has one child, and is supposedly married to Choe Song, the son of Choe Ryong-hae, also a Politburo member. It’s impossible to verify this information, nevertheless, taking in account the importance of the Kim family generational system, I consider that Kim Yo-jong is probably the mother of an unidentified child. Taking in account her responsibilities, she probably doesn’t take care of her supposed child.
She often travels abroad. For instance, she was seen at a theater in Singapore in 2011. She was a frequent visitor to France, where the Kim family has some flats and houses. She also visited Germany and the United Kingdom.
In 2013, I already explained that Kim Yo-jong was closely working with Kim Jong-un. However I consider as totally exaggerated, the information provided by the Guardian considering that Kim Yo-jong was a kind of « brain » for Kim Jong-un. I consider as more reasonable, mentioning that Kim Yo-jong is working in the Personnal Secretary of Kim Jong-un.
Interestingly, a travel ban and asset freeze on senior leadership figures including Kim Yo-jong was decided in June, 2016 by the UN Security Council. It must be noticed that some of the assets of the Kim family in Europe have not be yet confiscated. Therefore, I strongly consider, that the South Korean authorities were forced to invite Kim Yo-jong to PyeongChang. North Korean authorities wanted to complicate relations between South Korea and the United States. Therefore, Kim Yo-jong is only an instrument of the North Korean foreign policy.
On the 10th February, she’s supposed to meet with the South Korean president Mun Jae-in.