Kim Jong Un’s sister in the spotlight | FT

The North Korea leader’s temporary disappearance and rumours of ill health have put the spotlight on his sister Kim Yo Jong as a potential successor. The FT’s Korea and Washington correspondents talk to Jung Pak, author and former CIA officer.

Kim jong-un’s recent disappearance from public view has sparked talk of succession in north korea any change to the leadership in pyongyang threatens a struggle for control of one of the world’s most dangerous stockpiles of nuclear and chemical weapons despite state media showing north korean supreme leader reemerge at the opening of fertilizer factory questions

Over his health have lingered and intelligence agencies from seoul to washington are left facing one key question who is mixed in line to replace kim jang when kim jong-un was handed power after the death of his father kim jong-il and 2011 experts braced themselves for regime collapse the young leader who had spent part of his youth in europe only emerged as

The anointed successor barely two years earlier and few thought he had the authority to hold the kim dynasty together however the now 36 year old dictator defied expectations by removing threats to his power including the brutal killings of his uncle and half-brother with few close family members left and his own children believed to be far too young the next

In line could be kim yo-jong the supreme leader’s younger sister kim yo-jong gained international prominence in 2018 when she was dispatched to attend the winter olympics in south korea and became the first member of the kim regime to visit the country since the korean war she is believed to have important roles and political departments in pyongyang and has

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Seen to be a top adviser to her brother including during his flurries of brinksmanship and diplomacy with donald trump based on the regime’s priorities and the regime’s propaganda and what kim jong-un himself has done in the past few years is that his sister is very close to him in em yo jang who’s in her early 30s is always by her brother’s side is obviously a

Trusted confidant that she would be near the top if not at the top of that list of my list of who might succeed why didn’t we have to understand that this is all that kim’s whim he has been purging demoting shuffling leaders left and right hundreds of officials on since he came to power and that’s a way of keeping everybody on their toes and so if you if you’re in

That kind of environment that you’re gonna want to make sure that you’re in you’re in the the leaders on good graces us officials see kim yo-jong as one of the key regime insiders with one analyst telling me she has been groomed for power and the propaganda game since she was a teenager secretary of state mike pompeo who was traveled to pyongyang and met chairman

Kim himself several times including when he was cia chief made a point of saying that he had also met chairman kim’s sister on past trips as well as some of the other leaders as well one person i spoke to who is directly in touch with north korean and chinese officials told me that even if kim’s sister were to take over as figurehead the party would try to project

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Leadership in a style akin to that of china before xi jinping took the reins portraying something more akin to collective leadership analysts i spoke to said the trump administration has also taken its eye off the ball as the prospect for talks with north korea that might actually yield fruit have dwindled and the team they assembled to try deliver denuclearization

Has scattered in different directions managing a transition with such high stakes at a time the u.s. is fighting coronavirus if that were to be the case would be extremely demanding the speculation over kim’s health and whereabouts has also highlighted just how little insight we have into the north korean leadership there are there multiple intz which is human

Human intelligence sigint signals intelligence geoint and that’s the satellite imagery will we see from above as well as open-source osint and also roommate which is rumor intelligence right but something like kim’s health or his whereabouts or his status that’s that’s tricky the search for kim jong-un appears to have come to an end for now but the episode has

Served as a stark reminder of the potential for a sudden dramatic change in the leadership in pyongyang and the dangers of having an unstable nuclear armed pariah state that shares borders with china and south korea and has a history of threatening the united states you

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Kim Jong Un's sister in the spotlight | FT By Financial Times

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