Seoul, January 11: North Korean leader Kim Jong-un's younger sister, Kim Yo-jong, has been removed from the list of the executive committee of the ruling Workers' Party, the Daily Mail reported on Monday, citing North Korea’s state-run media the KCNA. Kim Yo-jong's name was not included in the list of members of the Politburo following the recent party elections. The development has raised questions about her status in the ruling party. Who is Kim Yo-Jong? All You Need to Know About Kim Jong Un's Sister Who May Take Reins of North Korea.
Speaking to Sputnik News, Lim Eul-chul, a professor of North Korean studies at Kyungnam University in Seoul, said all conclusions on Kim Yo-jong's omission would be premature. "She is still a Central Committee member and there's a possibility that she has taken up other important posts," Lim Eul-chul was quoted as saying. Michael Madden, an expert on North Korea at the Stimson Center, expressed a similar view. Kim Jong Un 'Brain Dead' or Infected With 'Coronavirus'? Here is What New Reports Say About North Korean Leader's Health.
"We have become accustomed to seeing her in a more public role, but Kim Yo Jong's political roots and her formative career experience are behind the scenes, not sitting on a platform listening to speeches," Michael Madden opined. Kim Yo-jong drew attention in April last year when her brother had disappeared. She was considered "de-factor" boss in Jong-un's absence.
Kim Yo-jong is the only one of Jong-un's siblings and considered a close and powerful ally. She first gained international attention in 2018, when she was the first member of the Kim dynasty to visit South Korea. She was part of the delegation to the Winter Olympics, where North and South competed as a joint team.
Kim Yo-jong also worked alongside her brother at international summits, including his meetings with South Korean President Moon Jae-in, China's Xi Jinping and US President Donald Trump. (With agency inputs)